UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA STUDENTS’ UNION CELEBRATES THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA’S DECISION TO FULLY DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS
Students’ Union applauds University’s decision to fully divest their direct holdings in the fossil fuel industry by 2023 and all indirect holdings by 2030. The union now calls on the University to be more transparent in their investments.
OTTAWA, ON – February 18, 2022 – The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) celebrates the University of Ottawa’s decision to fully divest their holdings in the fossil fuel industry. This comes after many years of campaigning by the student community. The Union thanks the University for their ongoing cooperation in this matter and would like to highlight the advocacy of Climate Justice uOttawa, the Sustainability Centre, and past student governments on this topic.
“Climate change is a very real and pressing issue — the issue of our generation,” says Armaan Singh, the Union’s Advocacy Commissioner, “this announcement is a clear example that shows that bold and aggressive student advocacy and pressure works.”
Divestment is the first step in the Union’s goal to have the University be more transparent with their investing of student money. While the University has committed to fossil fuel divestment, publishing all investment holdings will allow students to hold the University accountable and reassure them that the University is not investing in any companies that violate ethical norms and human rights.
“Students deserve to know where their tuition money is going,” notes Tim Gulliver, the Union’s President. “We are pleased that after years of campaigning, uOttawa has listened to students, turned away from the planet-ruining fossil fuel industry, and taken this important step towards a greener and more ethical university.”
The Union believes that this is a landmark moment in the University’s history and thanks student groups and the administration for their cooperation and commitment to finally achieve fossil fuel divestment. The Union looks forward to ongoing collaboration with the University with the goal of increasing transparency in their investments.
- In 2016, following campaigns by Fossil Free uOttawa, a student-run group, the Universitycommitted to “shifting” away investments from the fossil fuel industry at that time and a review of their strategy in 5 years.
- In 2019, the UOSU’s membership voted in favour of a motion calling on the University of Ottawa to update students on divestment.
- In 2020, Climate Justice uOttawa ran the #FossilFreeDegree campaign, with over 1,000 students signing a petition calling on uOttawa to divest from fossil fuels.
- In October 2021, the UOSUpublicly called on the University to divest from the fossil fuel industry, after raising the issue privately with President Jacques Frémont since May 2021.
- The University of Ottawabecomes the 11th university in Canada to commit to full or partial divestment.
About the University of Ottawa Students’ Union
The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) is the new student union representing the 38,000+ undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa. Founded in 2019, the UOSU strives to improve campus life, by providing services, organizing social events and advocating on their behalf. Climate justice is core to the UOSU’s mission and is championed by UOSU’s Sustainability Centre.
About Climate Justice uOttawa
Climate Justice uOttawa (CJCUO) is a student-run grassroots club at the University of Ottawa. CJCUO works to foster a space for climate activism on campus, inform the uOttawa community about climate justice, and work with other organizations on climate justice-related events such as divestment.