2. DIVEST: We condemn investment in the fossil fuel industry for its role in actively perpetuating the climate crisis. Harvard must release a statement declaring a commitment to toal divestment of the endowment from direct and indirect holdings in the fossil fuel industry, along with a comprehensive plan to achieve this.
3: REINVEST: We call for Harvard to leverage its financial power for reparative justice by supporting environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and community-based investment. We endorse the reinvestment principles recommended by Fossil Free 350.org and call on Harvard to adopt them.
Climate change poses a global threat. A recent report by the IPCC predicted disastrous effects of climate change occurring as soon as 2040, with the atmosphere warming by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels. Already in 2018, we are experiencing increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters, dramatic reductions in Arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels and temperatures at devastating human costs.
The fossil fuel industry is a chief perpetrator of climate change. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning comprised “76% of total U.S. anthropogenic GHG emissions” in 2016. Fossil fuel companies have worked to distort public information about climate change, funding climate skepticism and burying research on the impacts of fossil fuel burning.
Harvard has stood for centuries as a beacon of knowledge, discovery, and service and should not put its long-term survival at risk for short-term economic gains. Recognizing our role as both Harvard students and world citizens, we have a duty to hold Harvard accountable for realizing its principles. It’s time to divest Harvard.