Rally: Declare Your Love For Fossil Fuel Divestment

When: February 28th, 2024

Where: 550 W 6th Ave, Vancouver BC.

Come out and support teachers calling for divestment from fossil fuels and weapons at their union offices: BC Teachers’ Federation Offices, 550, West 6th Avenue, Vancouver. Programming will include speakers and music.

Divesting from fossil fuels and weapons is an act of love so for the love of children, and a safe, livable future, support teachers calling for pension divestment from fossil fuels and weapons.

Rally is co-organized by BCTF Divest Now and the Van Climate Strike Coalition.

With gratitude, we acknowledge this rally will take place on the unceded ancestral and unceded territorial lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations. We are grateful to take action on these unceded lands as guests and commit to learning about and acknowledging the harms of colonialism caused to both these lands and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm as the rightful owners and stewards of these lands. We commit to respecting these unceded lands and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations in our action.

Transit to the rally at 550 West 6th Ave. is available from bus or Skytrain:
260m walking distance from Olympic Village Skytrain Station on sidewalks with a flat grade.
The Olympic Village Skytrain Station is also serviced by the No.15, No.17 and No. 84 bus

There is no planned march for the event and the program is planned to last for 1.5 hours with amplified sound.

Two consecutive AGM motions and still little to no action has been taken to divest our pensions!

“Teachers want our students to thrive. To thrive, they need a climate-safe world, free of frequent storms, droughts, wildfires, and floods. They need smoke-free air. They need peace. In turn, teachers need our students’ respect. We want to look them in the eye and tell them that we are doing our best for them; we certainly don’t want to be profiting from things that will harm our students or any children in this world.”  Jillian Maguire, Teacher, District 39 

(TURTLE ISLAND LANDS / UNCEDED ANCESTRAL HOMELANDS OF THOUSANDS OF INDIGENOUS TRIBES)

At the 2022 and 2023 BCTF AGMs, members overwhelmingly voted to have their pension divested from fossil fuels. However,  no action has been taken to divest its over $37.8 billion pension fund from fossil fuels. Teachers are increasingly concerned about the risk of the climate crisis for students, as well as financial risk to savings, which is inherent in fossil fuel investments as governments and insurance companies wake up to climate risk. 

The Teachers Pension Plan is one of 11 pooled funds overseen by British Columbia Investments Corporation (BCI).  BCI currently holds $230 billion in assets, including:  

  • TC Energy (CGL): $453.1 million
  • Canadian Natural Resources Ltd:- $593.5 million
  • Suncor: $143.45 million
  • Teck Resources: $111.24 million
  • Trans Mountain (TMX Group): $16 million

Recently, we have become aware that BCI also has substantial investments in weapons (over 19 companies) that are currently being deployed on Palestinian children. The most egregious of these are:

  • L3Harris Technologies – $17.31 million
  • Israeli-owned ELBIT Systems – $0.16 million
  • Raytheon Technologies – $17.42 Million
  • General Dynamics – $6.42 million
  • Palantir Technologies – $1.71 million
  • Northrop Grumman – $8.17 million

We are actually going in the OPPOSITE direction – we are buying more fossil fuel and weapons stocks.  BCI has increased their investment in British Petroleum from $3.18 million in 2022 to the current $4.03. BP Oil is one of the 6 oil companies awarded exploration licenses in the Red Sea just off the coast of Gaza where there is a massive gas field worth trillions and where Israel has laid full ownership of these fields. BCI has also invested $32.18 million in INFOSYS, an information technology consulting firm owned by Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law, N. R. Narayana Murtry. Infosys and BP Oil just completed a $1.5 billion dollar deal and are both involved in this gas field. It’s essential to understand that Israel (Netanyahu) has plans to build the Ben Gurion Canal right through Gaza and so when we talk about weapons divestment it is directly connected to fossil fuel divestment. 

We need our leaders to lobby publicly and relentlessly to convince the boards of BCI and its pension funds of the dire need for us to stop funding both present and future genocide.

Please take action by sending an email through the Stand.earth emailer.

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The clock is ticking. Every child deserves a life and a future.