Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard and Extinction Rebellion MA Call Attention to University’s Immoral Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry
**watch the full demonstration on our facebook page**
CAMBRIDGE, MA — Today, 40 members of Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard (FFDH) and Extinction Rebellion staged an oil spill in Harvard’s Science Center Plaza to call attention to the university’s complicity in the climate crisis. Harvard, which still only has disclosed 1% of its $40 billion endowment, could have over $560 million invested in fossil fuel production and distribution.
We chose the imagery of oil being poured over human beings to highlight the oil industry’s disregard for human life as it continues to delay climate action. It is too easy for the industry and its investors to look away and pretend as if nothing is wrong. But now, we have no time to waste, as global emissions must be drastically cut to ensure a livable future.
Our university refuses to acknowledge the truth about the fossil fuel industry. Just 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of the world’s emissions. The Harvard Management Company invests a substantial amount of its $40 billion endowment in the fossil fuel companies that are responsible for accelerating the existential threats of the climate crisis. Even as the industry lobbies to slow climate legislation, attacks climate scientists, and attempts to increase consumption of fossil fuels, Harvard funds and legitimizes these dangerous companies.
This core business model is not compatible with a decarbonized future.
It’s time for Harvard to face the truth. The world is waking up to the urgency of the climate crisis and it will only continue to do so. We are far from an isolated movement; we are part of a global youth-led movement advocating for a rapid transition to a fossil-free future.
We will continue to call on Harvard to develop the courage it needs to end its complicity in the climate crisis and show real climate leadership before the window of opportunity it has to meaningfully do so closes.
“We are here today to call out the corporations that, for half a century, have known their business model would cause the climate crisis,” said Joseph Winters, FFDH member in a speech before the oil spill. “Harvard, too, is a corporation. Its ongoing investments in the fossil fuel industry make it complicit in the degradation of our collective future.”
We call on Harvard to commit to disclose, divest, and reinvest its fossil fuel holdings by Earth Day 2020.