In a strong show of support for climate action, 72% of Harvard students have voted in favor of the school ditching the portion of its massive $30.7 billion endowment it invests in fossil fuel corporations.
According to the Harvard College Undergraduate Council, the Divest Harvard campaign is the first student group in about six years to get enough support to qualify for a Harvard student government election. That alone is pretty impressive, but another interesting fact is that this support far exceeds the support garnered over 20 years ago when only 52% of students voted in favor of stopping investments in apartheid South Africa.
The move has pleased Bill McKibben, a Harvard grad and founder of 350.org, which is strongly urging all educational institutions to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. McKibben has said, â€œNothing has made me prouder to be a Harvard alum than the news that its students are leading the country in standing up to coal and gas and oil.â€ â€œLetâ€™s hope the Harvard Corporation cares as much about the future.â€
Do you think Harvard will go through with it? If they do, will it set a precedent for other established organizations to make a similar change in their investments?
Image CC licensed by Roger Wollstadt: Harvard Business School