The University of Montreal withdraws from fossil fuels

The University ; de Montréal withdraws from fossil fuels

The University of Montreal.

By December 31, 2025, UdeM will withdraw its investments in the fossil fuel sector.

The UdeM Endowment Fund is mainly used to finance research projects and provide scholarships. As of December 31, 2021, the value of the Fund was estimated at $420 million. This money will no longer be used to finance oil, promises the university.

“Today's announcement adds to the decisions made in recent years in terms of responsible investment and it makes me reinforces the conviction that our university is doing the right things,” said the rector, Daniel Jutras, in a press release issued on Wednesday.

Fossil fuel investments currently represent 4% of the Fund's total value.

A symbolic and political decision

The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stresses the importance that must be given to the climate emergency. This commitment by UdeM thus represents another step for the establishment on the path to sustainable development.

“We must never lose sight of the full influence we wield in society as a community of thinkers, teachers, scientists and students in a future full of promise,” Daniel continued. Jutras.

By withdrawing from hydrocarbons, the University [of Montreal] leads by example and sides with all scientific studies, who implore humanity to accelerate its energy transition.

Daniel Jutras, Rector of the University of Montreal.

With this announcement, UdeM joins other influential universities in North America engaged in a process of divestment in the oil sector.

A student protest that bears fruit

Last March,  students from the University of Montreal occupied the main building of the establishment to demand a divestment from it in fossil energies. Two students had even started a hunger strike as a sign of protest.

“We have been asking for concrete action from the administration in the face of the climate emergency for 10 years,” lamented Quentin Lehmann, one of the movement's organizers.

After five days of strike, the rector had finally announced certain commitments related to the demands of the demonstrators. It included in particular the promise to file “one or more scenarios of total divestment before December 31, 2025”.

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