On December 5, 2019, the University of British Columbia (UBC) formally declared a state of climate emergency and proposed two key divestment initiatives to continue their transition to a sustainable organization. The Graduate Student Society (GSS) at UBC supports these actions. We applaud the grass-root student action and indigenous resilience that was crucial in making this happen, and the GSS will continue supporting and advocating for transformative change.
The GSS supports UBC’s action in declaring a climate emergency.
UBC’s long awaited declaration is warmly received by the GSS and we fully support the positive action plan it’s coupled with. The economic and policy actions UBC proposes to take
- The divestment of the main endowment pool from fossil fuels
- The transfer of the Trek Endowment ($380 million) to the Sustainability Future Pool ($31 million)
are supported by the GSS. The GSS recognizes the process of divestment is highly complex and we deeply appreciate the time, effort, and collaboration of all the individuals involved in this process, and of the future individuals who will be involved in UBC’s transition to full divestment and sustainability.
The GSS applauds the efforts of student activists and indigenous resilience.
We thank and celebrate the many grass root initiatives that were crucial in helping UBC make this decision. The student activism surrounding climate action has been an important driver for change – from the September 27 climate strikes, to die-ins on campus, and the creation of UBC350. We thank and support all the students who continue to participate in these efforts.
The GSS also wishes to thank and acknowledge the current and historical efforts of indigenous peoples who continually act as climate leaders despite being one of the communities have done the least to cause the climate crisis.
As a student body, the GSS will continue to represent and take action on issues important to UBC graduate students.
The GSS will continue to support the efforts of grassroots organizations across the UBC campus on climate change and to represent the views of UBC graduate students on this crucial issue.
Within the GSS organization we seek to further embrace the actions needed for sustainability and to be accountable for our environmental footprint.