McMaster’s commitment to divestment
President David Farrar has asked the Board of Governors to put in place a strategy to divest fossil fuels from the university's institutional investment pool as soon as possible.
President David Farrar has asked the Board of Governors to put in place a strategy to divest fossil fuels from the university’s institutional investment pool as soon as possible.
Climate change and sustainability were consistent themes in consultations held with the McMaster community throughout last year to inform the university’s new vision statement and strategic plan.
“Students, faculty and staff want to find ways to address climate change through our research, scholarship and academic programming and also through the actions taken on our campus to reduce our carbon footprint, develop and promote clean energy and promote clean technologies, reduce waste and engage in energy reduction initiatives,” said McMaster president David Farrar.
“It is necessary, alongside our carbon reduction activities, to confirm that we want to be a leader in these areas and so today I asked the university’s Board of Governors to work with us to put in place a strategy to divest fossil fuels from our institutional investment pool as soon as possible.”
McMaster has benefitted from a series of discussions and considerations on the multiple issues surrounding climate change and sustainability, including divestment. The divestment strategy will build upon the ongoing strategy and significant advances that have already been made in the university’s carbon neutral plan for investments, as well as the work to advance the UN Principles for Responsible Investments.
McMaster signed onto the UN-PRI last year and was also the first Canadian university to adopt the Task Force Recommendations for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCD).
The Board of Governors holds responsibility for the university’s investment pool and the divestment strategy will need to align with the Board’s fiscal obligations.
Farrar said, “While working through a divestment strategy will take time, as a university we need to face the challenges of the climate crisis and play our part in addressing this in every way we can.”