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February 24, 2020

Harvard Student Lays Out Exactly Why Divestment is the Wrong Path

In the New York Times this week, a Harvard student, Wesley Donhauser, lays out exactly why divestment is a false solution for universities and endowments. In his words, divestment is a purely a distraction from real solutions:

“While I share Ms. Lockwood’s concerns about climate change, divestment is little more than financial theater. Even at its best, it would have no meaningful effect on global emissions. What is worse, divestment misconstrues the climate problem and distracts from the market-based solutions that can actually make a difference.

This Harvard student instead advocates for solutions and policy changes over costly empty gestures, continuing “Instead of demonizing fossil fuel companies, we need economy-wide incentives that encourage all parties to do the right thing.”

His last line: “Substitute symbolic posturing for a real solution? That would move Harvard — and the world — forward.”

We couldn’t have said it any better. This is the type of action all universities should focus on.