Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2022

At $39.2 billion, Harvard University’s endowment is the largest academic fund in the world—not all of which actually goes to academia. A large chunk is invested in private funds, bonds, and other financial instruments that don’t have to disclose what they’re betting on. That means there’s a good chance that money is tied to companies whose products are directly tied to heating up the planet, such as fossil fuel companies.

Harvard’s sly investment scheme, however, is not going unnoticed. Student activists, alumni, and public officials alike have been filling the university’s main square and protesting, filling the days with classes on climate and “civil disobedience training”, and calling for the school to divest from fossil fuels. Campaigners have been pushing Harvard to purge its endowment of fossil fuels for years, but this latest effort may be the largest and strongest yet.

The renewed calls for fossil fuel divestment at Harvard is part of a worldwide movement to confront the fossil fuel industry’s finances, slowly chipping away at the pool of investors willing to bet on coal, oil, and natural gas. Just this week, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a bill to allow federal employees to divest their retirement accounts from fossil fuels. And you know what’s amazing about the divestment movement? It’s actually working. To date, activists say they have secured more than $8 trillion in divestment commitments from more than 1,000 philanthropies, schools, pension funds, and other institutions.

There’s obviously still a ton of persuading to be done in order to get institutions like Harvard to divest, but at least we’re seeing more and more funds divest from fossil fuels.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

How the capital of Lithuania is turning itself into a vast open-air cafe

For many cities around the world, the need for social distancing has motivated cities to experiment with different urban planning schemes. Recently, we published ...

Read More

These bladeless wind turbines could revolutionize the renewable sector

Bladeless wind turbines may sound counterintuitive, but a new startup aims to prove that these devices could reinvent the way we harness wind power ...

Read More

British 13-year-old finds hoard of Bronze Age artifacts with her metal detector

Thirteen year old Milly Hardwich was using her metal detector for the first time in Royston, England when she came upon something unexpected. Milly ...

Read More

LA may ban the construction of new gas stations

In the face of the climate emergency, officials in Los Angeles are working on policies to stop the construction of new gas stations. Being ...

Read More