Over 110 call on Harvard to cease its financial embrace of climate destruction

On March 15, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard and a number of other members of the Harvard community filed a complaint with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, asserting that Harvard’s fossil fuel investments aren’t just immoral, but illegal. Today, nearly 30 additional signatories join the complaint, as momentum builds for an end to institutional complicity in the climate crisis.

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard is a movement that believes that if it’s wrong to destroy the planet, it’s wrong to invest in that destruction.

The complaint—which is not a lawsuit, but rather a call for the AG to investigate the matter— argues that by investing an estimated $838 million in the fossil fuel industry, Harvard is violating its obligations under MA law. Specifically, the laws…


Harvard has said that it wants an open discourse on divestment. So why is it backing out of commitments to talk?

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard is a movement which believes that when the planet’s on fire, it’s wrong to stand with the arsonists.

On March 15, our campaign filed a complaint with the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey arguing that Harvard’s investments in fossil fuels (estimated at around $838 million) are not only immoral, but illegal. The 56-page document, which outlines how these holdings violate the Harvard Corporation’s duties as a charitable institution, was signed by more than 80 elected officials; climate scientists; financial leaders; Harvard students, faculty, alumni, and community members; and campus, civic, and environmental organizations.

Learn more about the complaint filed with the AG, and read the press release.

On March 16, the Harvard administration cancelled a previously…


Legal Strategy Has the Potential to Reshape Institutional Investing Nationwide

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For nearly a decade, the Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) campaign has argued that in an age of climate crisis, it’s wrong to invest in the companies destroying the planet. Today, FFDH escalates that argument to the Massachusetts attorney general, asserting that Harvard’s fossil fuel investments aren’t just immoral — but also illegal. The legal strategy has the potential to reshape institutional investing in a time of climate crisis.

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard is a movement that believes that if it’s wrong to destroy the planet, it’s wrong to invest in that destruction.

The argument takes the form of an official complaint filed this morning, in which student organizers, alongside concerned faculty, climate scientists, alumni, political leaders, civic groups, and community members, allege…


Report takes steps in the right direction, while leaving serious gaps that undermine commitments

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard is a student campaign that believes that when the planet’s on fire, it’s wrong to support the arsonists.

In April 2020, Harvard announced a set of general net-zero climate principles for its investment portfolio — and pledged that more specific details would be released by “late 2020.” Yesterday, February 25, Harvard followed through, releasing an initial report on its commitments. The report reflects some positive developments — but also includes significant shortcomings, such as a refusal to divest from the industry most responsible for this crisis, that undermine Harvard’s stated commitments and reflect the continued and seismic disconnect between Harvard’s actions and its espoused rhetoric about the urgent need for climate action.

The report contains two important victories…


Parody website draws attention to Harvard’s inaction on climate crisis

Meet the Harvard Corporation. They’re the 13 members of Harvard’s highest governing board — and their superpower is controlling a $42 billion endowment. (Image: HarvardCorpLovesFossilFuels.com)

They don’t wear capes, but they wield massive superpowers. Together, the 13 members of the Harvard Corporation control Harvard’s $42 billion and shape the university’s impact on its students and on the world. And yet, few even know who they are.


Students raise concerns about Harvard’s climate inaction, lay out pathways to institutional leadership

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard is a student campaign that believes that when the planet’s on fire, it’s wrong to support the arsonists.

Last week, student organizers from Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) met with administrators to discuss the state of Harvard’s response to the climate crisis. The students at the meeting were Ilana Cohen ’22, Claire Pryor ’22, Joseph Winters ’21, Connor Chung ’23, and Isha Sangani ’24. Representing Harvard was President Lawrence Bacow, Senior Fellow William Lee, and members of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility.

The discussion had been requested by students in hopes of identifying common ground, after months of growing community consensus — including resounding votes by students, faculty, and alumni — regarding the inadequacy of Harvard’s response…


Students: In Wake of Crises, Harvard’s Obligation to the World Cannot Be Ignored

CAMBRIDGE, MA — On Saturday, members of the Harvard community took to the Yard in a socially-distanced manner to call on Harvard to disclose, divest, and reinvest its fossil fuel holdings. The rally, which was organized entirely by first-year students, sent a loud and clear message to administration that in the wake of historic global crises, Harvard’s obligation to the world cannot be ignored.

During the event, the crowd called for change through song, chant, speeches, and more. The participants also wrote their personal reasons for supporting divestment on signs, and observed seven minutes of silence to mark the remaining…


Groups see connection in fight for an ethical and just institution

For the first time ever, alumni organizers with Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) and the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign (HPDC) announced that they will formally and substantively partner, linking up their respective calls for Harvard’s divestment from fossil fuels and prisons to insist on a full ethical restructuring of the endowment that permanently ends the university’s extractive investment model.

The two groups — each composed of alumni around the world who identify with one or both campaigns — demonstrated their commitment to the partnership, and to building a joint base, with a co-hosted political education session in September, entitled “Connecting…


In wake of victory, campaigners turn their eyes across the Atlantic

With peer institutions recognizing the moral necessity of divesting from fossil fuels, Harvard remains stuck in the past.

In a Thursday morning announcement, The University of Cambridge revealed its plans to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The decision, which came after five years of tireless activism, is a win for the climate justice movement — and puts significant pressure on Harvard to act.

“From Newton to Darwin to Rosalind Franklin, Cambridge University has always been at the forefront of human understanding of the world around us,” said climate activist Bill McKibben ’82. “With this announcement, the product of hard work over many years by hundreds of devoted campaigners, the University finally puts its money where its brains…


Students, Alums, and Faculty Examine Harvard’s Climate Response, Pathway to Leadership

Missed the panel? Watch it above!

On Tuesday, members of the Harvard community gathered for a discussion on “Actually Confronting the Climate Crisis.” The panel, which featured student, alumni, and faculty voices from across the university, examined the failure of Harvard’s climate policies to date — and explored what it would take for Harvard to be a leader in the fight against climate crisis.

It was the first public event of the year for Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, and comes in the wake of significant momentum for the campaign: in recent months, majorities of alumni, faculty, and students have voted…

Divest Harvard

We call upon Harvard to #divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies and reinvest responsibly.

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