Media Releases

U of T invites input on call for fossil fuel divestment

June 15, 2015

Deadline extended to invite further submissions

Toron­to, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is invit­ing mem­bers of its com­mu­ni­ty to make sub­mis­sions to an advi­so­ry com­mit­tee study­ing a recent call for divest­ment from fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies. The request for sub­mis­sions is the lat­est step in the work of the com­mit­tee exam­in­ing the divest­ment issue.  The com­mit­tee may also reflect more gen­er­al­ly on the university’s most appro­pri­ate and effec­tive respons­es to the chal­lenges posed by cli­mate change.

U of T Pres­i­dent Mer­ic Gertler encour­aged all inter­est­ed par­ties to make their views known and added that great care was tak­en in choos­ing the advi­so­ry com­mit­tee. “The mem­bers bring sig­nif­i­cant aca­d­e­m­ic and research exper­tise to the com­mit­tee,” said Gertler.  “Their work is guid­ed by the same rigour and com­mit­ment to aca­d­e­m­ic free­dom that the mem­bers employ in all of their teach­ing and research.”

A full list of the com­mit­tee mem­ber­ship, which was approved by the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of the university’s Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil, is avail­able online.  Once the com­mit­tee makes its rec­om­men­da­tion, which is expect­ed late this year, it is up to the Pres­i­dent to make the final deci­sion on divest­ment.

The com­mit­tee was formed under the terms of the university’s Pol­i­cy on Social and Polit­i­cal Issues with Respect to Uni­ver­si­ty Divest­ment.  Since its cre­ation the com­mit­tee has met with a vari­ety of groups with an inter­est in the issue and has been gath­er­ing research relat­ed to the divest­ment call, which came in the form of a brief pre­pared by Toronto350, a stu­dent group at the uni­ver­si­ty.

“I want to thank every­one who has par­tic­i­pat­ed in the debate so far as well as those who respond to this call for sub­mis­sions,” said Gertler.  “This is a great exam­ple of the uni­ver­si­ty com­mu­ni­ty com­ing togeth­er to debate an impor­tant issue.”

The orig­i­nal dead­line for sub­mis­sions is Sep­tem­ber 30, 2015; how­ev­er, the Pres­i­dent and the Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee have indi­cat­ed that sub­mis­sions will con­tin­ue to be accept­ed until Octo­ber 14.

Those wish­ing to make sub­mis­sions can send them via email to or via reg­u­lar mail to:

Pro­fes­sor Bryan Kar­ney, Chair
Pres­i­den­tial Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Divest­ment from Fos­sil Fuels
Office of the Pres­i­dent
Sim­coe Hall, Room 206
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Toron­to, ON M5S 1A1

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Media Rela­tions
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
416 978‑0100