According to the Harvard Crimson student activists have started a week-long fast for Fossil Fuel Divestment: Dozens of members of the Harvard community will not be swiping into dining halls this week as they participate in Divest Harvard’s week of fasting.
The initiative, which lasts from Oct. 20 to Oct. 24, seeks to draw attention to Harvard’s continued investment of portions of its $36.4 billion endowment in fossil fuel companies and promote discussion about climate change.
The students have a core group that will fast for 3 days (72 hours representing the 72% of Harvard students who support fossil fuel divestment). The student’s do not encourage or endorse fasting for longer for 5 days, because of health concerns. On the 2nd day they had 195 people participating in the fast.
Drew Faust Harvard’s President has released a Harvard Divestment statement (October 3, 2013) and a Confronting Climate Change statement (April 7, 2014) says Harvard should indeed address climate change, and Harvard does that through designated activities: teaching and research—not divestment. Harvard has become a signatory of two organizations internationally recognized as leaders in developing best-practice guidelines for investors and in driving corporate disclosure to inform and promote sustainable investment via:
The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) which implements a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for integrating environmental, social and governance factors into investment analysis and ownership practices.
Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) climate change program. The CDP is an international nonprofit organization that works with investors to request that portfolio companies account for and disclose information on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and carbon risks associated with their business activities in order to increase transparency and encourage action.
Those actions on Climate Change is still not enough for the majority of students and many faculty members. 164 of the Harvard Faculty have signed An Open Letter to the University President and Fellows urging fossil fuel divestment as soon as possible and they offer compelling rebuttal to the previous public statements by President Faust on the subject.
Video on Momentum on Fossil Fuel Divestment Grows As Harvard Professors, Desmond Tutu Call For Action
I am personally joining the Harvard Students Fast for Fossil Fuel Divestment in solidarity to their cause, but I started a few days earlier and will end a few days after as I don’t have their aversion to fasts that go longer than three days.
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website