British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University has adopted a plan to reduce its fossil fuel investments by 45% from 2015 levels by 2025.
“The university previously committed to a 40% reduction by 2030,” CBC reports . “Student advocacy groups have long been calling for carbon divestments up to 70%.” The university’s endowment fund is used to fund student scholarships and academic programs, and is valued at about C$400 million.
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“We’re facing a climate crisis right now, and the UN scientists have made it clear that we need to do a lot more.” said SFU 350 member Raaj Chatterjee.
“The school has previously said it has no direct investments in fossil fuel companies. But Chatterjee says the bulk of investments are in pool funds, and estimates about 10 to 15% of those dollars are invested in carbon-heavy companies,” CBC notes.
The decision by SFU’s board of governors comes not long after the University of British Columbia voted to divest the $380 million it holds in fossil fuels, Concordia University in Montreal pledged  full divestment by 2025, and research showed  two big California pension funds foregoing US$17 billion in income over 10 years by failing to do so.
Chaterjee called on SFU to extend its divestment commitment beyond the current 45% threshold. “It sets a higher precedent for these large institutions to take more action,” he said.