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University of Toronto rejects calls to dump fossil fuel investments

by The Canadian Press   

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University says divesting from fossil fuel companies would have limited impact because such firms only account for one-quarter of Canada's GHG emissions

TORONTO—The University of Toronto has rejected recommendations to get rid of its holdings in the fossil fuel industry, but says it will consider environmental, social, and governance factors in making investment decisions.

In a newly released report, university president Meric Gertler says divesting from fossil fuel companies would have limited impact because “such firms only account for one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Instead, he says, the university will take a more comprehensive approach to managing its direct and indirect investments by looking at environmental, social and governance risks, including climate change.

Universities across Canada have been weighing whether to dump their holdings in fossil fuel companies.


Concordia University in Montreal became the first Canadian university to adopt a partial divestment policy in December 2014, though that measure only applies to a $5-million fund _ a fraction of the school’s $130-million endowment.

The University of Calgary, McGill University in Montreal and Dalhousie University in Halifax have all decided against divestment, as did the University of British Columbia, which instead promised to create a low-carbon investment fund.


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