The legislation, say backers, is made necessary by the danger that Harvard’s climate inaction poses for the people of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts General Court, or the state legislature, meets in the Boston State House (Photo: King of Hearts, Wikimedia Commons)

Responding to the risks that Harvard’s roughly $840 million in fossil fuel investments pose to the public interest, Representatives Mike Connolly (D — Cambridge) and Erika Uyterhoeven (D — Somerville, HBS ’19) introduced a bill utilizing the Legislature’s Constitutional oversight authority to compel the university to divest from fossil fuels. If successful, the legislation would require Harvard’s governing boards to take more aggressive climate action.

According to its backers, the legislation is made necessary by Harvard’s insufficiency on climate and the resulting harm for the people of Massachusetts.

“The Massachusetts State Constitution imparts the General Court with mechanisms for providing…


For second consecutive year, alumni deliver mandate for climate action

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.

Every year, Harvard alumni elect new members to the Board of Overseers, one of the university’s two governing boards. In 2020, the Harvard community secured a historic victory by electing three pro-divestment candidates to the board. Now, despite the university changing the election rules to limit democratic participation, alumni have once again delivered a resounding mandate for climate action. On Thursday, Harvard announced the results of the 2021 election — and a majority of the newly-elected candidates agree that when it comes to the climate crisis, Harvard can and must do more.

Among the victorious candidates was Harvard Forward nominee…


Historic legal complaint asserts that Harvard’s fossil fuel investments violate state law

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

On April 30, the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey met with Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) to discuss a historic legal complaint asserting that Harvard’s fossil fuel investments aren’t just immoral, but illegal. The complaint, which was filed in March by FFDH and over 110 cosignatories, has the potential to reshape institutional investing nationwide in a time of climate crisis.

Representing the complaint signatories at the meeting were former SEC Commissioner Bevis Longstreth (HLS ‘61), Representative Erika Uyterhoeven (HBS ‘19), Ted Hamilton (HLS ’16)…


In letter, FFDH called on Arch Capital director and Harvard Management Company board member to act on climate

The Adani Carmichael coal mine, if completed, will produce 200 million metric tons of CO2 over an expected 60-year lifetime. (Image: Cameron Laird, Wikimedia)

On the morning of April 26th, Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard wrote an open letter to Eric Doppstadt, a director of global insurance firm Arch Capital who also serves on the Harvard Management Company board, calling on Arch to publicly rule out support of the Adani Carmichael coal mine. Following the letter, Arch has taken the important step of promising to never insure the dangerous and unsustainable initiative — a win for the planet and the future.

For years, the #StopAdani campaign and Indigenous communities have sought to oppose the continued construction of the Adani Group’s Carmichael coal mine project. The…


In a virtual event organized by Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, members of the university came together to celebrate the lighter side of climate action

The event, which drew attention to the urgency of environmental justice and Harvard’s continued refusal to act, featured a number of comedic performances by members of the Harvard community.

On April 22, members of the Harvard community came together to celebrate the lighter side of climate action at Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard’s second virtual Earth Day. The event, which drew attention to the urgency of environmental justice and Harvard’s continued refusal to act, featured a number of comedic performances by students from across the university.

In one of the night’s sketches, news anchors shared the latest headlines from campus in the style of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. In another, “Mr. ExxonMobil CEO,” at the invitation of his many friends on the Harvard Corporation, gave a commencement address to…


Nearly 120 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.

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.

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.

Divest Harvard

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

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