The fact that Harvard is finally indicating that it is no longer supporting the fossil fuel community is a large domino to fall. Hopefully this will encourage other universities to put the pressure on those who haven’t yet. — Danielle Strasburger, Harvard Forward Co-Founder
The fact that Harvard is finally indicating that it is no longer supporting the fossil fuel community is a large domino to fall. Hopefully this will encourage other universities to put the pressure on those who haven’t yet. — Danielle Strasburger, Harvard Forward Co-Founder
Harvard Says It Will Not Invest in Fossil Fuels
Harvard University has announced that it “does not intend” to make any future investments in fossil fuels, and is winding down its legacy investments because, the university’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, said in an email to the Harvard community, “climate change is the most consequential threat facing humanity.”

The announcement, sent out on Thursday, is a major victory for the climate change movement, given Harvard’s $42 billion endowment and prestigious reputation, and a striking change in tone for the school, which has resisted putting its full weight behind such a declaration during years of lobbying by student, faculty and alumni activists.

Since last year, the activism has succeeded in getting four pro-divestment candidates elected to Harvard’s Board of Overseers, the first candidates elected through a petition campaign since 1989, when anti-apartheid activists seeking divestment in South Africa put Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the panel, which helps set strategy for the school.

Divestment battles are based on the idea that university endowments, being tax-free, have an obligation to pay attention to the public good, and that huge endowments like Harvard’s may be instruments for change.

Harvard activists hope that other institutions might follow the university’s lead.

“People do pay attention to what Harvard does,” said Danielle Strasburger, a 2018 Harvard graduate who co-founded Harvard Forward, an alumni divestment movement, with a classmate, NathΓ‘n Goldberg Crenier.

“The fact that Harvard is finally indicating that it is no longer supporting the fossil fuel community is a large domino to fall,” she said. “Hopefully this will encourage other universities to put the pressure on those who haven’t yet.”


Many other universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Brown and Cornell, have committed to divesting from fossil fuels. But many others have not, and similar divestment movements have spread through universities across the country.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/10/us/harvard-divestment-fossil-fuels.html