Harvard Students Protest Coal Energy

Harvard students blockade administration building entrance, The Boston Globe. Banner: HARVARD: DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS.

Article by Vivian Liao

On Wednesday morning, a group of Harvard students stood outside an administrative building in a peaceful rally to protest against coal and fossil fuel energy use in Harvard universities.

The group leading the rally, Divest Harvard, aims to push for the divestment of coal and fossil fuel energy use from the Harvard administration.

Divest Harvard has called upon the university to divest holdings and put an immediate pause on further investments from publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The group is targeting the top 200 of these fuel companies, who are the main contributors to the gridlock issue that is hindering the development of climate policies, some of which are mentioned below.

This protest was initiated as a response to the Trump administration’s order to ease restrictions on climate change policies and reverse Obama’s policy regulations on the matter.

Trump has announced a decision to revoke the Clean Power Plan, introduced by Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to mass reduce carbon pollution and work towards cleaner energy.

Without the Clean Power Plan, America is likely to continue its downhill environmental issues faced from global warming since 2009, when the EPA declared greenhouse gas pollution a threat to American safety and welfare.

The executive order also included a reversal of the moratorium on federal coal leasing in 2016. The leasing of federal land for private coal mining companies will once again be legalized.

A letter was sent out in February to Harvard’s President Drew Faust from Divest Harvard. The letter addresses the denial and suppression of climate change research in both Harvard University and the White House. The group is determined to end Harvard’s investments in fossil fuel energy, which they call an “endorsement of President Trump’s de-regulation practices.”

Besides the rally, Divest Harvard is calling for a meeting with students, faculty, and other affiliates of the university to discuss fossil fuel divestments in an open forum.

This protest is not their first. Last spring, Divest Harvest lead a week of protest outside the Massachusetts hall. Regardless of President Faust’s refusal letter on March 20th, the group is determined to keep advocating for the university’s divestment from fossil fuel.