If you are an alumni and interested in signing our endorsement letter for our divestment campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Alumni Divestment Endorsement”, your name, and whether or not you choose to abstain from donations.
Dear Trent University President and Board of Governors,
I, (your name), am in full support of Sustainable Trent’s proposal for Trent University to divest from the fossil fuel industry within five years. My endorsement is based on the rationale that divestment is a practical and feasible decision that is both financially prudent and ethically responsible. I endorse the March 2013 Resolution on Fossil Fuel Divestment, Sustainable Trent’s Proposal for the Investment & Pension Committee, and the student group’s presentation to the Board of Governors on January 31st.
Sustainable Trent’s divestment proposal reflects the interests of the Trent community. Students demonstrated their broad support for fossil fuel divestment in the March 2013 TCSA elections, voting in favour of Sustainable Trent’s proposal by a wide margin of 76%. Additionally, an online petition calling for divestment has garnered over 1000 signatures, a number that continues to grow.
Divesting from the fossil fuel industry is a financially prudent decision, as indicated by recent financial analysis included in Sustainable Trent’s proposal. If governments take action to reduce carbon emissions in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, then fossil fuel companies will have to keep 80% of their current reserves in the ground. This means that $20 trillion of assets could become obsolete, representing a massive carbon bubble that could put fossil fuel investments at risk of collapse. In their current state, Trent University’s pension and endowment funds are at risk from this fall-out, and the prudent move is to manage that risk proactively by removing funds from fossil fuel company assets.
Investments in the fossil fuel industry are also unethical due to their role in driving climate change, unsustainable and environmentally destructive resource extraction, violation of Indigenous and human rights, and corruption of democracy. As an institution that exists to serve students and the promotion of their future wellbeing, Trent University has a moral obligation to ensure that it is not putting their future lives and careers at risk. One of the stated objectives in Trent University’s Mission Statement is to “foster sustainability, in its environmental, social and economic dimensions, on our campuses and in all aspects of our work.” Given the fossil fuel industry’s unsustainable business plan, to divest from fossil fuels would be to honour this mission statement.
Divestment would be a bold step, and position Trent University as an innovative leader in sustainability. With other fossil fuel divestment campaigns growing on university campuses across Canada, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as the first university in Canada to divest. I hope that the Board of Governors listens to student voices and makes the responsible and practical decision: to divest from fossil fuels.
Alumni Pledge to Abstain from Donations
I, (your name), alumni to Trent University, pledge to abstain from donating to Trent for as long as it chooses to keep its investments within the top 200 fossil fuel industries.