Toronto350, a U of T chapter of the international environmentalist group 350, is targeting the University of Toronto’s investments in Shell through a Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.
With $9.84 million invested in the energy company, the activist group claims Shell is U of T’s largest and most controversial investment, pointing to the company’s record of alleged environmental and human rights violations.
A recent street demonstration, which put a humorous “Santa’s workshop” spin on the worsening ice melt in the Arctic, helped collect over 200 student signatures for the environmental group’s petition. Toronto350 intends to collect thousands more signatures before officially delivering their petition to “sell Shell” to Simcoe Hall.
The 350 international group is named after the 350ppm (parts per million) safe limit of CO2 in the atmosphere. With over 390ppm currently in the atmosphere, the group is concerned that the planet is headed towards irreparable climate change. They target fossil fuel companies like Shell in an attempt to move away from fossil fuels and harmful land use practices, both of which contribute greatly to global CO2 emissions. The group pointed to the University of Toronto’s divestment in tobacco companies in 2007 as an example of ethical decision-making in the university’s expansive portfolio.