Note from President Gertler
On March 6, 2014, Toronto350, the University of Toronto chapter of the larger 350.org movement, presented the Office of the President with a petition requesting that the University of Toronto fully divest from direct investments in fossil fuels companies within the next five years and to stop investing new money in the industry.
I struck an ad hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil Fuels under the terms of the University’s Policy on Social and Political Issues With Respect to University Divestment to review the petition. The Committee submitted its report to me on December 15, 2015.
The Committee had a broad mandate: First and foremost, to consider the University’s response to the call for divestment. And second to reflect more generally on the University’s most appropriate and effective responses to the challenges posed by climate change.
I will conduct some due diligence as appropriate, a process I expect will take several weeks and I will respond to the report sometime in the new year.
In the meantime, I hope and expect that the report will draw attention and close study across our broad community.
In this context, the University community is indebted to the Committee and, both personally and on behalf of the University, I thank them for their extraordinary efforts. The Committee has devoted scores of hours to meeting, researching, debating, and drafting. They have tackled their mandate with the same intellectual energy and integrity that so distinguishes the University of Toronto.