Fossil fuel divestment at UNB

On September 20, 2019 the student-led Fossil-Free UNB Orange Square campaign was launched at this event on the UNB campus. The campaign is supported by RAVEN, the UNB Students Union, and UGSW – the union of graduate student workers, local 60550 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

For more information read the February 2020 campaign booklet.

To join the campaign, read and sign the petition here.

This petition is open to everyone in the UNB community: students, staff, faculty, alumni, retired.

Click here to see list of people who have already signed it (coming soon).

To read all the divestment campaign updates, click here.

The UNB divestment campaign is led by Rachel Bensler, RAVEN research assistant and second year student in the UNB Bachelor of Arts Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Leadership with a minor in International Development Studies.

RAVEN is also supporting the student-led campaign at Saint Thomas University (STU). Hannah Moore, RAVEN research assistant and fourth year Environment & Society major at STU is leading the STU divestment campaign.

Why is RAVEN involved in a divestment campaign?

The science is clear and documented in the 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): we must immediately end the development of fossil fuel infrastructure and keep existing resources in the ground.

Given that RAVEN’s home organization is a university that values science, we have a responsibility to act on what the science is clearly telling us to do to mitigate climate change, the most urgent planetary crisis of our time.

The climate crisis intersects with all justice issues. Fighting for climate action means also talking about power, capitalism, labour, race, colonialism, social and economic inequality, discrimination and white privilege. RAVEN aims to take on a climate justice narrative that joins environmental activism and all struggles for liberation.

As ethical researchers, we want to practice what we preach, to ensure to the best of our abilities that the organization we work within and represent – the University of New Brunswick – also follows responsible environmental and social justice practices.

University divestment campaigns are happening globally, and UNB has a history of divestment campaigns. Building on this foundation, RAVEN is supporting a student-led campaign to pressure our university to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry.

More info on university divestment campaigns

Many of the issues, opportunities and challenges of universities divesting from fossil fuel investments are discussed in this recent article by Jennie Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy and Director, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs, Northeastern University.

The independent UK publication, The Guardian, has a special section for news and analysis about fossil fuel divestment, linked here.

The National Observer collaborated with The Toronto Star, Global News, the Michener Awards Foundation, the Corporate Mapping Project and four journalism schools on “The Price of Oil” investigating the impacts of the oil and gas industry on Canadian communities. You can access the articles here.

We encourage everyone – especially in the UNB community – to learn about the IPCC recommendations and fossil fuel divestment.

Anyone in the UNB community who would like to speak publicly on this topic is welcome to join a discussion and action group to keep the campaign moving forward. Please contact us: raven.unb@gmail.com.