How can we find out if our school invests in the fossil fuel industry?
This page was created following a request within the HUB community. It is used to equip student groups wishing to campaign for the divestment of fossil fuels within their campus. Before campaigning for divestment, it is essential to do your research to know the reality of your campus.
Finding the numbers
Is your school on this list of Canadian universities that have commited to divestment? (Last updated 2022)
See Divest Canada's page for interviews and statements from student organizers after their wins!
Public universities - As public bodies and under the
Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information
your university must make several of its documents accessible following a request to do so. Thus, the first step in obtaining information on the University's investments is to make an access to information request .
Freedom of Information Request
Examples of Procedures for Making Access to Information Requests
Response time - The University has 20 days to respond to the request. Exceptionally, this period may be extended by 10 days.
Escalating pressure tactics to get information
If you can't find the information you are looking for, you can...
- Speak to staff in person to understand the situation.
If they refuse to answer your questions or give you excuses not to give you access to documents, you can…
- Make a public call for information seeking support so that staff members can pass the information on to you anonymously (or not).
- Contact a lawyer to determine if the University has broken the law by not providing you with the requested documents.
- Contact allied/local journalists to put pressure on the establishment to give you the information you seek.
Starting your divestment campaign!
Depending on the information found, you can choose to campaign for the divestment of your establishment from fossil fuels.
Groups for climate justice from the University of Montreal (Ecotheque) and the University of Toronto (Climate Justice UofT) obtained the divestment of their school institution from fossil fuels by an escalation of pressure tactics going as far as the tactics of the occupation!
See the following for more:Instagram of Climate Justice UofT
External contribution acknowledgements
Thank you to those who shared their knowledge with members of the team. You are awesome.
If you have any suggested revisions or additional resources to share related to the above content, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.