harvard

Photo by Ingfbruno / CC 2.0

Members of Divest Harvard blocked the doors to Harvard University's University Hall early Wednesday morning to demand the university divest from coal, The Boston Globe reported.

The group called for an immediate “moratorium” on investments in coal and demanded a meeting with the whole school to talk about fossil fuel divestment more broadly, the Harvard Crimson reported.

Divest Harvard has repeatedly called on the university to divest from fossil fuels, much like Fossil Free Penn. FFP and Divest Harvard's movements have both seen increased momentum in the past few days, which may have been partly sparked by Columbia University’s announcement last month that Columbia's trustees voted in favor of divesting from thermal coal. 

Harvard University’s administration released a statement to the Boston Globe about the most recent protests, writing, “We agree that climate change is one of the world’s most urgent and serious issues, but we respectfully disagree with Divest Harvard on the means by which a university should confront it." 

This mirrors a statement that Penn spokesperson Steve MacCarthy emailed to The Daily Pennsylvanian in the beginning of FFP's current protest. 

"The University would be happy to work with [FFP] to find additional ways to reduce Penn’s carbon footprint and lessen the need for fossil fuel use," he wrote. "We are in agreement with them on the importance of this issue. We simply disagree on strategy: they are demanding that Penn divest, and the [Board of] Trustees have already determined that fossil fuel does not meet the University’s criteria for divestment."

College sophomore and FFP member Zach Rissman said FFP and Divest Harvard have even been collaborating on their tactics through an Ivy League divestment student network. 

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