BREAKING: Carleton endorses fossil fuel divestment strategies

Protest organizer Stephanie Vienneau, left, speaks during a Climate Action Carleton sit-in at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont. Friday, December 3, 2021. [Photo by Isaac Phan Nay/Charlatan Newspaper]

Carleton University’s Board of Governors (BoG) announced that it will abolish all direct fossil fuel investment in the university’s endowment and non-endowed operating funds at its March 10 meeting.

The university announced its decision in a recent Press release published on March 11. In the release, Carleton media relations manager Steven Reid said the university would seek to create a fossil fuel-free investment fund by the end of 2022. The release also said the university will achieve “significant decarbonization” within the endowment. and unendowed operating funds by 2030.

Carleton updated their responsible investment policies to reflect the change.

The statement said the university’s investment policies aim to have a positive effect on climate change by taking into account environmental, social and governance factors.

In the statement, President and Vice-Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon said the decisions “align with Carleton’s commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change and striving to create a more sustainable economy,” and added that at this time, “Carleton is not holding direct fossil fuel investments in these funds.

Ahead of a previous BoG meeting on December 3, 2021, dozens of protesters participated during a sit-in organized by Climate Action Carleton (CAC) calling on the university to divest from fossil fuels.

In response to the protest, Reid said the Charlatan the university would review its investment approach.

Stéphanie Vienneau, head of outreach for the CAC and key organizer of the December protest, said the Charlatan she applauds Carleton for his commitment.

“I think it’s a very good result,” Vienneau said. “We’ve been working for a while to get that, so I’m pretty happy.”

She said CAOT will continue to work toward greater sustainability on campus through education-based initiatives as it re-evaluates its next campaign.

The Carleton BoG is scheduled to meet again on April 22.

Featured image by Isaac Phan Nay.