- A lawsuit filed against Harvard University accuses the school of violating its duties as a public charity by investing in fossil fuel companies.
- The suit, filed by seven students, asks a judge to force Harvard Corporation, which governs the university, to stop investing its endowment in natural gas, coal, and oil companies, and to divest from existing fossil fuel investments, the Associated Press reported.
- The lawsuit is part of an ongoing effort by students to get Harvard to pull out of fossil fuel investments because of climate change.
In the world of endowments, Harvard’s $36.4 million fund is like the cool big brother — everyone else looks up to him, envies him, and follows him. If Harvard were to divest from fossil fuel companies, it would set a standard that many other endowments would follow, and it would be a big win for the divestiture movement at other universities. But a Harvard spokesman said that university leaders believe the best way to confront climate change is through research and teaching. And Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, has said that the endowment can’t be used to influence social or political changes.