Concordia University says it will divest entirely from coal, oil and gas by 2025

MONTREAL — Concordia University says it will stop investing its assets in the coal, oil and gas sector within five years.

The university says it's also committed to putting its entire endowment — worth about $243 million — into investments that are sustainable by 2025.

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The school's interim president, Graham Carr, says sustainable investments are those that conform to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, to which the university became a signatory in 2018.

The university's endowment is managed by the Concordia University Foundation, which says its current assets in the coal, oil and gas sectors represent about 5.7 per cent of the total amount, or $14 million.

Other Canadian universities have announced similar divestment commitments, including Universite du Quebec a Montreal, which sold off its fossil fuel assets last year.

Carr says Concordia is the first university in Quebec to have committed to a 100 per cent sustainable endowment portfolio, along with a specific timeline for reaching that goal.

"Were trying to shift a bit the orientation away from the exclusive focus on divestment and instead project towards something that is much more enduring, in terms of sustainable investing," Carr said in an interview.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2019.

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