Fossil fuel divestment has been a big subject lately. Several large institutions and companies have moved away from any fossil fuel investment (divested).
And yet Harvard is happily investing into it or accepting money from such industries, even despite of petitions from staff and students and own Harvard articles. Why? Money rules, at any price for the advancement of education.
Harvard is an academic institution. It exists to serve an academic mission — to carry out the best possible programs of education and research. We hold our endowment funds in trust to advance that mission, which is the University’s distinctive way of serving society. The funds in the endowment have been given to us by generous benefactors over many years to advance academic aims, not to serve other purposes, however worthy. As such, we maintain a strong presumption against divesting investment assets for reasons unrelated to the endowment’s financial strength and its ability to advance our academic goals.
What a sad statement. How can you continue to invest into a resource that is finite, that is getting more scarce every day hence all this deep water drilling, arctic exploration, fracking and tar sands. And hence the ROI decreasing. I would have through that any halfway clever institution would invest into renewables where there’s still plenty of scope for improvement and jobs rather than into a resource that is finite and – carefully put – potentially dangerous for any future generation.
However great to see so much pressure on the Harvard management.