Ovintiv/Encana, Chevron, Exxon et al deeply deserve this! CNBC’s Jim Cramer: “I’m done with fossil fuels … they’re just done. We’re starting to see divestment all over the world. … It’s going to be a parade that says, ‘Look, these are tobacco and we’re not going to own them.’ … Younger people don’t want to own them. The dividends are great…but you can tell that the world’s turned on them. It’s actually happening really quickly.”
BlackRock, world’s largest fund manager with nearly $7 trillion in investments, plans to offer new funds that shun fossil fuel-oriented stocks, could put pressure on other large money managers to follow suit. It’s strictly business.
250 professors ask Canadian universities to withdraw from the oil industry by Lia Lévesque,The Canadian Press, Feb 2, 2020, Le Devoir [Google translate]
Nearly 250 professors are asking Canadian universities not only to stop investing in the petroleum industry, but to withdraw their investments that are already there.
These 246 teachers signed an open letter, in which they affirm that they refuse to remain passive in the face of climate change caused by human activity. And they believe that universities must lead by example through their investments.
They come from Canadian universities: Laval, UQAM and McGill, in Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Waterloo, Victoria, York, Wilfrid Laurier, Western Ontario, St. Thomas, Dalhousie, Calgary, Queen’s and Moncton.
They come from the sciences more directly concerned, such as geography, biology, forest ecology, environmental sciences, but also from other disciplines: psychology, history, music, linguistics, political sciences.
“We are training the people who are going to be on the front line, who are going to be forced to face this challenge in the future, our young people,” Professor Adrian L. Burke, one of the signatories, justified in an interview with The Canadian Press., professor of anthropology at the University of Montreal.
Mr. Burke rejects criticism from elite detractors and artists who speak out on climate change without coming from the life sciences, the natural sciences. This also concerns political science, for example, since political decisions have to be taken to counter the effects of these climatic changes, explains Mr. Burke.
Universities ‘investments in fossil fuels come from their endowments and their employees’ pension plans, he said.
“We only have a few short years before avoiding the irreversible catastrophe,” write these teachers in the letter, in support of the environmental group claiming Extinction Rebellion.
So they hammer the claim to reduce carbon emissions to a net rate equal to zero by 2025. “Science already supports the fact that if we do not do so by 2025, the consequences will be even worse, and exponentially worse , if we wait until 2030, 2040, ”pleads Mr. Burke.
He believes it is possible that the radical changes that the group is demanding in economic and social behavior and choices will be made without too much trouble.
“During the Second World War, the United States went to war and, in a year or two, it would radically change its economy. And that did not result in layoffs, far from it. We can imagine a situation where we can recalibrate our economy without having negative impacts,” says Professor Burke.
He argues that at present, the negative repercussions of climate change are already being felt among certain populations in the South, among indigenous communities and especially in the Arctic.
The signatories also point the finger at the Government of Canada, which must adopt “binding legislation” in the matter, not just deliver a speech favorable to the fight against climate change while buying a pipeline.
UVic approves new divestment policy from fossil fuels by The Canadian Press, Jan 29, 2020, Vancouver Island CTVNews
VANCOUVER — The University of Victoria says it’s adopted an investment policy that targets the worst producers of greenhouse gases, increases investments in clean technology and encourages low-carbon practices.
The school says its Board of Governors approved the policy for the university’s $225-million short-term investments fund after months of extensive research and consultation.
Students across Canada have pushed for universities to divest from fossil fuel industries and recently a McGill University professor resigned over the school’s refusal to divest.
UVic board to consider partial fossil fuel divestment proposal
Majority of UVic faculty vote to divest from fossil fuels
The University of Victoria says its new investment policy does not include long-term endowment funds that are managed by a separate legal entity, but the entity will review the new policy.
RRSP Without Oil by Caisse Solidaire in Quebec, snap of header taken Feb 2, 2020
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“One of the ways to put the economy at the service of the planet is to review the way we invest.” – Laure Waridel, The transition is now, 2019, (Éditions Écosociété) [Excellent quote!~]
One hundred UQAC teachers oppose the LNG Quebec project by Alexandre Shields, Feb 1, 2020, Le DeVoir [Google Translate]
A hundred professors and lecturers from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) have signed and sent to the government a letter of opposition to GNL Quebec’s Énergie Saguenay gas plant project . They say they fear the repercussions of a project that would not respond to “the climate emergency” and plead for a “socioecological transition” in the Saguenay — Lac-Saint-Jean region.
“It is obvious that Quebec cannot build its future on projects that weaken ecosystems, human populations and the economic future while causing strong social tension regionally and in Quebec,” insist the authors of this letter sent to the government. of Quebec, the federal government and members of the region.
“[…] It is an illusion to believe that future gas transportation infrastructure will serve the interests of the Saguenay — Lac-Saint-Jean region. Our region has all the natural, environmental, human and economic assets to be a leader in a socioecological transition which is no longer optional, “they add, in the document signed by 63 professors, 38 lecturers. and 26 professionals from UQAC.
“We firmly believe that investments for the region must be part of such future trajectories. We are ready and ready to mobilize our time, our skills and our knowledge to contribute to this necessary social and ecological transition that we wish to be consistent with the magnitude of the current challenges. “
Climate and biodiversity
In this position against the proposed liquefaction and export of Alberta natural gas plant, academics point out that greenhouse gas emissions related to the project will reach almost eight million tonnes per year on Canadian soil . Exploitation of the gas, which will be mainly by fracturing, would also pose risks to human health, according to an analysis published this week by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.
“[…] Even if conventional or unconventional natural gas (hydrofracturing gas) is a cleaner resource than oil from the oil sands, the fact remains that this resource constitutes a non-renewable fossil energy and that to reach the greenhouse gas reduction targets, we must limit their extraction, ”they add.
This statement by UQAC professionals is not the first from opponents of the project. In a letter published in June 2019 in Le Devoir , more than 160 scientists asked for the rejection of the project, deeming it “incompatible” with the fight against climate change.
The authors also fear “consequences on the exceptional natural heritage enjoyed by Saguenay — Lac-Saint-Jean”, and in particular on “biodiversity”, including the beluga of the St. Lawrence.
As part of the environmental assessment process for the LNG Quebec project, scientists from the federal government and the Quebec government have already highlighted the risks of an increase in maritime traffic on the Saguenay, a portion of essential habitat. beluga.
The promoter of Énergie Saguenay believes, however, that it is impossible to avoid the passage of LNG tankers in this habitat, while saying that “mitigation measures” are being studied in order to “minimize the impact of maritime transport” .
According to GNL Québec, the factory and export project will allow annual reductions in global GHG emissions of 28 million tonnes, in particular because the liquefied natural gas that would be exported would largely serve to replace the use of coal , the worst fossil fuel.
However, the company does not want to “publicly” disclose the names of buyers of its liquefied natural gas, “for competitive reasons”. “We will have the opportunity to go further on these elements and demonstrate the credibility of our LNG sales scenarios in the context of the BAPE hearings,” said the senior director, public affairs and relations with communities at GNL Québec, Stéphanie Fortin.
In mid-January, Prime Minister François Legault welcomed GNL Quebec executives to its Montreal offices during a meeting closed to the media. He then met with the president of GNL Quebec, Pat Fiore, as well as the president of the board of directors of the company owned by American interests, Jim Illich.
“Good meeting with the leaders of the Énergie Saguenay project”, he tweeted afterwards, by posting a photo presenting this meeting with the promoters of the Énergie Saguenay project, while adding arguments in favor of the project mentioned repeatedly by GNL Québec.
An environmental assessment of the project must be conducted in Quebec, under the aegis of the BAPE, but also another by the federal authorities. Both the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada will not take into account greenhouse gas emissions from gas production in their decision-making on the project. These emissions would be equivalent to adding 3.4 million cars to the country’s roads.
Quitting Over Fossil Fuels, McGill professor resigns over university’s repeated votes to keep investing in fossil fuels by Colleen Flaherty, Jan 20, 2020, Inside Higher Ed
A professor at McGill University is voluntarily leaving his tenured job next month, in protest of the campus governing board’s recent vote against divesting from fossil fuels.
Gregory Mikkelson, the associate professor, is a philosopher and environmental scientist, which puts divestment squarely within the realm of his own research. But in an interview he said he also based his decision on what he calls McGill’s antidemocratic governance system.
“Being in a school environment, you’re immersed in all these facts about the accelerating deterioration of our planet and how urgent it is to take strong measures to try to relieve and reverse these trends,” Mikkelson said, yet “my own institution refuses to take this small step.” [Too many juicy trips, and gifties to upper management, and multi-million dollar donations to universities from the polluters!]
More than that, he continued, “this is the third time in seven years that the board has refused to divest from fossil fuels.” The first two times, Mikkelson said, McGill’s Board of Governors did so against “the strong basis in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities” for divestment.
Most recently, in a decision announced in December, he continued, the Montreal board did so “in defiance and denial of an overwhelming mandate” from campus groups. Indeed, every employee and student organization that has considered divestment in recent years — including the large, representative University Senate — has voted in favor.
Two other professors on the Board of Governors resigned as elected faculty representatives over the fossil fuel issue last year.
In a report that informed the recent vote, a commitee of the McGill board wrote in favor of decarbonization, or reducing “overall carbon emissions of the endowment portfolio, by a percentage to be set against a determined reference index or benchmark,” over divestment. Mikkelson argued that that is decarbonization is a murky goal that centers on the process of pulling fossil fuels out of the ground and not the far more deleterious effects of burning fossils fuels as a product.
Cynthia Lee, McGill spokesperson, said via email that the university “is moving forward reducing the overall carbon footprint of its investment portfolio, including those within the fossil fuel industry.” McGill also plans to “look at increasing its investments in clean technologies, renewable energy infrastructure and fossil-fuel-free funds to enhance its low-carbon investments.”
Some 8.7 percent of the university’s $1.7 billion Canadian, or $1.3 billion U.S., endowment fund investments are in the “larger energy sector,” which includes renewable fuels, wind and solar, Lee said.
About 1.9 percent of the portfolio includes investment in the equity of the top 200 coal, oil, gas and other companies listed in the Carbon Underground 200 index.
“Adopting a more carbon-conscious investment approach complements McGill’s far-reaching climate change and sustainability goals, including institution-wide efforts to achieve carbon neutrality across the University’s operations by 2040,” Lee added.
Mikkelson, who is American, also described the “McGill problem” as part of a bigger “Canadian problem,” in which the country has adopted various environmentally friendly policies while continuing to allow and profit from increased production of fossil fuels, particularly via Canada’s western tar sands.
[If universities don’t quickly divest from fossil fuels, like Alberta’s AIMCo needs to, their pensions might have no value: Over $19 Billion in retirement savings for teachers, state troopers and public workers lost over last decade by California & Colorado state pension funds investing in fossil fuels.]
That Mikkelson doesn’t have a plan for what’s next speaks to his conviction: tenured faculty positions are hard to come by. But he said he hopes to continue studying and speaking on the intersection of the natural world and economic growth, including biodiversity law. His faculty colleagues, meanwhile, have been “very supportive,” he said, acknowledging that his decision means “disruption” for them and for his students.
Asked what might move the dial on the fossil fuel issue, Mikkelson said the dial is already moving. Several large Canadian universities already have divested from fossil fuels, including the University of British Columbia, just this month. That endowment is roughly the same as McGill’s, he noted.
Mikkelson also contrasted McGill’s response to faculty calls for divestment with that of the University of California: in September, the massive system said that it was making its $70 billion pension fund and $13.4 billion endowment “fossil-free.”
The California move followed years of campus protests and other campaigning against fossil fuels. But the university has said its ultimate decision was more about money than politics. Fossil fuels in the portfolio at this point amount to too much risk, it said.
McGill, meanwhile, has said that dropping fossil fuels is too risky. Yet that also conflicts with a recent working paper finding that colleges’ and universities’ financial concerns about divestment are overblown, if any risk exists at all.
Chris Marsicano, a co-author on that paper and a visiting assistant professor in education studies at Davidson College, said that four of about 100 Canadian colleges and universities have divested or plan to, in addition to British Columbia. About 45 of the approximately 1,400 colleges and universities in the U.S. have done the same or plan to, at least in part, he said.
Marsicano said he’d never heard of anyone resigning from a tenured position over fossil fuels, but that it would be a “brave move.”
“I expect that anyone with a track record strong enough to get tenured would have many options after resigning,” he added. “People with integrity and those who stand up for their beliefs tend to land well.”
Refer also to:
Kenney goes a beggin’ to Trudeau for mega cash & tax cuts to give yet more $billions in corporate welfare to billion dollar profit raping oil patch; Kenney & CAPP want Canadians (and their heirs and their heirs and their heirs, etc.) to be forced to pay for oil & gas industry’s rape & pillage & pollution of Alberta.