The University of Ottawa is taking a bold approach as a leading research institution, responsible investor and community partner to address global warming and help Canada move to a greener economy.

uOttawa’s climate commitment helps create greener economy

On April 25, 2016, the Board of Governors of the University adopted Addressing Global Warming: The uOttawa Response, a report that outlines how the University will continue to take a leadership role on climate change.

This report follows 18 months of work by the Board’s Finance and Treasury Committee (PDF, 430 KB) on whether the University should divest from its investments in fossil fuels. The consultations included hearing from advocates for the divestment movement, commissioning experts reports (PDF, 180 KB), reviewing current and proposed uOttawa investment policies, examining best practices elsewhere and hearing from public discussion panels on campus that included the participation of all those with views to share, including academics, researchers, students and other experts.

Initiatives in the report focus on responsible investment, finding ground-breaking solutions on climate change through our research and teaching and continuing to reduce our campus’ carbon footprint.

The Board rejected the idea of divestment as an insufficient response on its own to the climate challenges we face. The Board has, however, asked its Finance and Treasury Committee to develop a strategy to shift uOttawa’s fossil fuel-related investments over time towards investments in enterprises, especially in Canada, involved in creating and selling technologies of the future, including renewable energy and other clean technology solutions. The Finance and Treasury Committee will report to the Board annually on its progress.

Climate change, and the global warming that results, are the defining challenges of our time. The University of Ottawa is committed to tackling them on many fronts. The broad and effective strategy adopted by the Board will enable the University to do just that.