Dalhousie Student Union wants out of fossil fuels

Divestment movement gets a boost

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(Climate Watch/Flickr)

(Climate Watch/Flickr)

The Dalhousie Student Union unanimously passed a motion on Wednesday calling for the university’s Board of Governors to end investments in fossil fuels, putting pressure on the school to respond. It’s a win for a global movement that wants to hurt the industry they say causes climate change.

“It is morally bankrupt for an institution who claims to be a leader in sustainability to profit off the extraction of fossil fuels, the warming of the climate, and the displacement of millions of people, ” said Divest Dal member Rob McNeish, according to a press release.

The divestment movement was covered in the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings and debated at Maclean’s On Campus earlier this year by a University of Victoria graduate who sees such investments as a “conflict of interest” for schools that claim to be sustainable, and a professor who argues divestment is too ethically fraught.

So far, only a handful of U.S. colleges have divested. In May, McGill University’s Board of Governors rejected a petition from a student group calling for divestment after its Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility decided the petitioners hadn’t proven “social injury.” In the past, the committee has found social injury and endorsed divestment from tobacco and Burma.