We are a campaign advocating for The University of Victoria’s divestment from fossil fuels while building a student movement to take on climate change.
We are grateful to organize on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ lands, and to the Indigenous communities leading the climate justice movement on the front lines.
What is Divest UVic?
Divest UVic is a group of UVic students, faculty, and staff advocating for The University of Victoria’s divestment from fossil fuels while building a student movement to take on climate change. Over the span of eight years, Divest UVic has used a wide range of campaign tactics to influence change, from collaborative discussion with the administration, to successful referendums and protests. Up until now, the University has either ignored or attempted to sidestep the climate concerns of students and faculty.
The university divestment movement is gathering strength across Canada. Over the past few years, universities such as University of Ottawa, University of Guelph, Université du Québec à Montréal, Lakehead University, Concordia University, Université Laval and University of British Columbia have committed to full divestment. This Fall, Divest UVic also joined the Divest Canada Coalition, which brings together 30 divestment campaigns from across Canada.
Recent Wins & Moving Forward
In February 2021, the University of Victoria announced the full divestment of one of their two primary investment funds – the $256 million dollar working capital fund managed by the UVic Board of Governors. This is the first major breakthrough the fossil fuel divestment movement has had with the administration after eight years of campaigning. We are hopeful that this decision will soon be applied to the $440 million endowment, which is governed by a separate Board.
With this decision, UVic joins other Canadian universities that have recently divested for a mixture of moral, reputational and financial reasons: The University of British Columbia, Guelph, Concordia, Université du Québec a Montréal, and Lakehead. UVic also joins the over 1300 organizations worth a collective $14.5 trillion that have pulled their funds from fossil fuel companies.
Our work continues. We need to ensure UVic Divests the Rest. The University Foundation manages the $440 million Long Term Endowment Fund which holds approximately $40 million in funds directly related to the fossil fuel industry (as of March 2020). With the climate emergency growing more dire and fossil fuel companies facing increasing losses, Divest UVic demands that the Foundation follow the lead of the Board of Governors by divesting these funds and embracing a safer and more effective investment strategy.
If you’d like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.