The University of Toronto is committing to divest from investments in fossil fuel companies in its $4.0-billion endowment fund beginning immediately.

As part of a suite of sustainability measures announced by U of T President Meric Gertler today, the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM) – U of T’s investment manager – will divest from all direct investments in fossil fuel companies within the next 12 months, and divest from indirect investments, typically held through pooled and commingled investment vehicles, by no later than 2030, and sooner if possible.

UTAM will also allocate 10 per cent of its endowment portfolio to sustainable and low-carbon investments by 2025, representing an initial commitment of $400 million, and is committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions associated with U of T’s endowment by no later than 2050.

U of T also became the first university in the world to join, via UTAM, the UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, a group of institutional investors committed to achieving increasingly demanding targets every five years en route to net-zero emissions.

“The growing severity of the climate crisis now demands bold actions that have both substantive and symbolic impact,” President Gertler said in a letter to the U of T community.

“When a large institution like the University of Toronto decides to take such steps, it is our belief that this will both accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and inspire other investors to do the same.

“We hope it will also encourage government actors at home and abroad to intensify their efforts to tackle the challenge of climate change.”

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