Demonstrate institutional leadership on climate justice

To meet the goal of embedding climate justice throughout UBC’s activities and address the inequities associated with the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change, UBC must demonstrate consistent institutional leadership on climate justice.

In order to undo the systems of oppression that enable exploitation, UBC is working to acknowledge and reckon with its own role in contributing to the climate crisis, while leveraging its intellectual and moral authority as well as its social and financial procurement power to advance climate justice in other organizations and advocate for broader social change beyond its institutional boundaries.

Progress Highlights

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SHORT TERM (1-3 YEARS)

Related CETF report recommendations include enacting commitments to divestment and sustainable investment, and demonstrating and advocating for justice-based climate action.

Short term actions include embedding climate justice values into investment screening, investing in just community projects, and publicly reporting on progress. Divestment alone does not address climate change; it is, however, one large step.
Project

Progress
UBC commits to responsible investing: UBC signed the UN Principles of Responsible Investing and Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities. This commits UBC to incorporate environmental, social, and governance issues into investment decisions, and to encourage other universities to do the same. July 2020. Learn more.

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Responsible Investing Strategic Plan: UBC’s Board of Governors reviewed UBC IMANT’s comprehensive Responsible Investing Strategic Plan. Sep 2020. Learn more.

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$214 million transitioned: Since the beginning of 2020, UBC has transitioned $214 million to fossil-fuel-free or low carbon investments — representing over 20% of our public equity holdings. Learn more.

$1.5M in Climate Emergency Funds distributed: Advocacy by members of the student-led UBC Climate Hub, working closely with elected AMS and GSS student leaders, led to support by the administration for the creation of a $1.5 million Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) made up of incremental funding from tuition fees. June 2021. Learn more.
Bar indicating 100% completion

MEDIUM TERM (3-5 YEARS)

Addressing climate justice as an institution means understanding the disproportionate impacts of climate change, and understanding UBC’s role in contributing to them. This work will require time and space for honest and transparent criticism and reflection. 

UBC’s new Climate Emergency Managers will seek opportunities to convene and coordinate UBC stakeholders to consider these issues and determine new actions to address them in the following 12-24 months.


LONG TERM (5-10 YEARS)

UBC IMANT has set the goal to reduce the portfolio’s carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, managed in a manner that is consistent with fiduciary duties. The 45% GHG reduction goal by 2030 is an ambitious goal that exceeds the commitments of other universities in Canada.

The goal cannot be achieved using only one responsible investing tool. It can only be achieved by using a combination of tools that are consistent with the principles of responsible investing. The tools that UBC IMANT will employ include divestment, active ownership, leadership, disclosure, and measurements.

Related Resources

Climate Change: Financial Risks and Opportunities (Imperial College of London)

Explore how the landscape for investing is shaped by climate change, including an introduction to the financial risks and opportunities arising from man-made climate change.

The disarming case to act right now on climate change

Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention.

Climate Conversations

A weekly climate change podcast from two MIT alumni and MIT Open Learning, as a part of their ClimateX project, an online platform that facilitates climate change learning, connection, and action.

See all resources >>