Open Publication: Divest Harvard Requests Meeting with Stephen Blyth

Today, Divest Harvard sent a letter to Dr. Stephen Blyth, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Management Company, to request a meeting within the next month to discuss HMC’s new investments in distressed oil and gas companies. The communication is below.


To: Stephen Blyth, Harvard Management Company

From: The students of Divest Harvard

March 9, 2016

 

Dear Dr. Blyth,

The students of Divest Harvard believe climate change is the greatest problem of our time. Climate change drives other global crises and threatens to devastate our species and planet for thousands of years. Because of this, we are writing to request a meeting with you to discuss the Harvard Management Company’s continued investment in climate-altering fossil fuels.

Absent strong action, those of us who are young will likely see some of the world’s great cities begin to be submerged underwater and millions of people displaced or killed by droughts, floods and famines. In our view, this crisis calls for new intergenerational accountability entailing drastic reductions in fossil fuel investment, production, and use.

Harvard has so far failed to meet this moral challenge by refusing to divest itself of fossil fuel stocks. In fact, as recently reported by Bloomberg, it is investing large sums of new capital in oil and gas exploration and production. To refuse to divest from fossil fuel stocks is an abdication of moral leadership. To actively invest in oil and gas drilling that would not otherwise occur is directly destructive to the planet and its people.

This past December, the world agreed to limit the amount of human-caused climate change, setting goals that Harvard claims to support. If this global agreement is to be honored, at least half of current reserves must remain in the ground, and investments in fossil fuel production must decrease considerably. The Harvard Management Company betrays these obligations by investing in new fossil fuel production.

We request to meet with you within one month to discuss the current policies of the Harvard Management Company and how it can better honor the need for sustainable investing. Please contact Divest Harvard at harvardsjsf@gmail.com to schedule this meeting.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

The students of Divest Harvard