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UVic Students’ Society pushes school to freeze fossil fuel investments

University of Victoria Students’ Society is lobbying the university to freeze investments in fossil fuels and unload its shares in the industry.

The UVSS board of directors voted unanimously last week to push the university towards divestment.

“Investments in fossil fuels condone the environmental and human rights abuses associated with resource extraction-based industries,” said UVSS chair Kelsey Mech. “By continuing to invest in fossil fuels, we ensure that our futures are entrenched in the status quo rather than alternative and renewable options.”

The UVSS wants the University of Victoria Foundation to commit to a three-year plan to divest all remaining shares.

“We’re happy to consider requests … and we’ll be bringing it to our meeting at the end of the month,” said Andrew Coward, treasurer of the Foundation. “We also share the students’ concern on climate change, UVic in general is known for its work in climate change issues and clean energy.”

UVSS will work with Divest UVic – a student group organizing lobbying efforts on campus – that has in the past few months cultivated support from faculty, students and alumni, and collected hundreds of signatures on a petition.

The Foundation manages $300 million in more than 1,100 university endowment funds.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Christine van Reeuwyk

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