WINNIPEG – A group at the University of Winnipeg is angry the school will not stop investing in fossil fuels.
Instead, the university is proposing a voluntary fossil-free ‘green innovation fund’ for U-Winnipeg Foundation donors.
Divest UWinnipeg organizer Andrew Vineberg tells 680 CJOB this ‘green fund’ is a smokescreen.
“They’ve still sidestepped the fact that they have millions of dollars invested in the fossil fuel industry. they continue to profit off those investments.”
Vineberg says the school is being hypocritical by not divesting in fossil fuels while promoting green ideas. He also says divesting wouldn’t hurt the schools coffers.
“It’s only about 4.6 per cent, that’s about $2.6-million. It’s enough money that it’s pretty egregious to be invested in an industry in a way that contradicts your commitments and values. But it’s small enough that it would be pretty easy for them to cover that investment.”
Vineberg says the school is ultimately worried about alienating donors connected to the oil industry.
For their part, the school says divesting is not in the cards right now, but that doesn’t mean they are ignoring green ideas.
“What we want to do is work with the foundation, work with the pension, work with the students, staff and faculty to really take a look at a more positive, collaborative approach,” explains Chris Minaker, Senior Executive Officer with uWinnipeg. “We meet with the student leadership all the time.”
The University says the issue of divestment as well as the green fund has been carefully considered over the last few months, including a number of public forums.