Welcome to the website for Harvard Climate Justice Coalition’s lawsuit against the Harvard Corporation. On November 19, 2014, students at Harvard University filed a lawsuit to enjoin the Corporation’s investments in gas, oil, and coal companies.
Update on January 8, 2017: Video of the June 7, 2016 Appeals Court hearing is now available here.
Update on January 6, 2017: After the Lawsuit
Members of the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition have launched Climate Defense Project, an organization that provides legal support to the climate movement. Learn more through our Facebook page, Twitter (@Climate_Defense), and website.
Update on October 24, 2016: On October 6, 2016, the Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the Superior Court’s decision to dismiss our case (read the decision here). The Court’s opinion is a disappointing failure to engage with the urgent problems of climate change and climate justice. As we have argued from the beginning, powerful institutions like Harvard University have a moral and legal duty to end their financial support of the fossil fuel industry. Short-term profits cannot justify the spread of scientific falsehoods, the corruption of the political process, and endless production of dirty fuels that stands in the way of a clean energy future. Our courts must defend the public interest in a healthy climate and recognize the duty of investors and governments to curtail carbon emissions. Today, despite the strength of our legal arguments in favor of divestment, the status quo prevailed over judicial imagination.
One of our plaintiffs has filed an application for further appellate review. All plaintiffs have faith that the global divestment movement and other climate legal actions will prove stronger than the intransigence of established interests and that a more just vision of climate rights and responsibilities will prevail. The Harvard Climate Justice Coalition stands with all others, including the striking workers at Harvard’s dining halls, who seek to build a better world by holding our powerful institutions accountable.
Update on May 31, 2016: Next Tuesday, June 7, members of the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition will appear in the Massachusetts Appeals Court for oral argument. All are invited to attend the argument and lend support! We packed the courthouse full of supporters at our last hearing and hope to do so again.
When: Tuesday June 7th, 9:30 AM
Where: Massachusetts Appeals Court, Courtroom 4, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square in Boston
Check out our News & Updates and Court Documents pages for more information! Also check out a recent article in the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems about the lawsuit.