Harvard and Yale Should Do More Than Just Divest

On November 23, 2019, we and 120 of our colleagues risked arrest. storm the field the annual Harvard-Yale football game to demand an end to universities’ greed for profit from the climate crisis and to demand the climate leadership of two of the richest and most prestigious universities in the world. Two years later, Yale took decisive steps towards socially responsible investments, and in a historic move in September this year, Harvard committed to divest it. These victories testify to the strength of the student and grassroots organization. And already they have wave effects. More than a dozen major since Harvard’s announcement Universities, Foundations, and Pension funds have followed suit, adding a growing sum of nearly $ 40 trillion in assets withheld from planetary arsonists.

But our work at Harvard and Yale and in higher education is far from over. As a world leader fail repeatedly In order to carry out the necessary climate protection measures, the importance of divestments and strategies that focus on direct action versus conventional bureaucratic politics has never been more important. However, our universities’ responsibility does not end with their hard-won promise to make their foundations fossil-free. We need a meaningful implementation of their commitments on a timeline that reflects the urgent need for climate science and justice. And we need our universities to break their toxic ties to the fossil fuel industry in research and programming, and leverage their oversized foundations to accelerate an equitable, fossil-free economy that invests in frontline communities for generations to come.

Let’s start with Yale, which has moved heavily towards divestment since the game: releasing one perform bad actors who are not eligible for institutional investments, commit Decarbonise the campus and expand research Planetary solutions and communication in relation to the climate crisis. From April, however 2.6 percent Yale’s $ 42.3 billion in assets remained tied up in the fossil fuel industry. Yale’s main criterion for not investing in certain fossil fuel companies remains limited to their greenhouse gas emissions, precluding serious considerations about the industry’s role in air and water pollution, climate misinformation and violations of indigenous sovereignty. Perhaps this should come as no surprise, as the University of Fossil Fuels Investment Principles Committee Chairman Jonathan Macey, was a substitute director of the oil and gas giant Hess.


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