Climate Justice Series

The Climate Justice Series at the Harvard Kennedy School convened the following events during Spring 2016 (events will resume in September, after the academic recess):

  • The Policy Implications of Fossil Fuel Divestment – April 26th

    • DescriptionMany have heard about the effort to divest Harvard University from fossil fuels, but the divestment movement is focused off-campus as well. This panel discussion will explore how divestment of fossil fuels has emerged as a policy issue, with a case study on Massachusetts and its state pension fund.
    • Speakers
      • Massachusetts State Senator Ben Downing (the Senate sponsor of the Divestment bill)
      • Massachusetts Representative Marjorie Decker (the House sponsor of the Divestment bill, and HKS alum
      • Karen Higgins, Co-President of the National Nurses United (whose state chapter has endorsed divestment)
      • Jim Recht, Harvard Medical School
      • [MODERATOR] Craig Altemose – (MPP’10), whose organization Better Future Project has been active on divestment
    • Details: here.


  • The Political Struggle For Climate Justice: Paris & Beyond – April 19th

    • Speaker: Wael Hmaidan – Director of the Climate Action Network
    • Co-sponsor: Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
    • Description and Bio: here
  • The Moral Imperative For Climate Action: Religious Perspectives – April 14th

    • Speakers:
      • Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman – Assistant Rabbi at Temple Sinai and leadership team member of MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, to speak about the Jewish perspective.
      • Yan Min Aung – National Land and Environmental Policy Consultant for Myanmar government, to speak about the Buddhist perspective.
      • Fr. Daniel P. Horan, OFM – Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province and columnist for America magazine, to speak about the Catholic perspective.
      • [MODERATOR] Tomás Insua – MPA candidate at HKS and Global Coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
    • Co-sponsors: Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, HKS Energy & Environment PIC,
    • Description and Bios: here.
  • Global Forums for Green and Climate Action: Reports from Berlin and Dubai – March 4th

    HKS students Tomás Insua and Andy Kanjarpalayam Palanisamy will discuss their work on Green issues, in an event moderated by Adjunct Professor of Public Policy Muriel Rouyer. Tomás, returning from the Climate Action Network Assembly in Berlin, will talk about “What happens after Paris: the 2020 goals of the climate movement”. Andy, returning from the World Government Summit at Dubai, will present on “Sustainability Observations from Dubai”. Event organized by the Ash Center, co-sponsored by the CJC. More info.

  • Why Should Harvard Divest from Fossil Fuels.. and What to do about it – March 2nd

    Divest Harvard organizers will share on the rationale and background of the fossil fuel divestment campaign, and we will then brainstorm on how to take action within the HKS community. We will also spend some time discussing some logistics of our new caucus.
     – Benjamin Franta is a PhD candidate in applied physics in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a research fellow at the Belfer Center at HKS. He has been active in the fossil fuel divestment movement since 2012.
     – Naima Drecker-Waxman is a sophomore at the college studying history and literature. She is the current coordinator of Divest Harvard.



Additionally, one of our caucus co-founders (Tomás Insua) organized two panels during the academic year 2014-2015 that planted the seed for the creation of this caucus:

  • Divestment Debate: Should Harvard Divest from Fossil Fuels? – April 29, 2015

    Should Harvard divest from fossil fuels to address the climate change crisis? A Harvard Kennedy School debate will address the arguments pro and con of a controversial global fossil fuel divestment campaign. Please join us for a divestment debate between two faculty members:

    • Against divestment: Rebecca Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Harvard University.
    • For divestment: James Engell, Gurney Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University.

    – Watch: video recording of the debate
    Summary of the debate

  • 600k Activists and 193 Negotiators: Learnings and Challenges in Climate Change Politics – November 4, 2014

    For the first time in history we witnessed massive public mobilization asking for climate action when 600,000 people participated in the People’s Climate March a month ago. What impact did it have on climate change negotiations? What could be done to mobilize millions for the 2015 COP summit in Paris? How could their influence be maximized to incentivize world leaders to sign a meaningful deal in Paris?


    • Jamie Henn, Co-founder and Strategy & Communications Director,
    • Tracy Raczek, Climate Policy Advisor, Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, United Nations
    • Brendan Guy, Global Policy Fellow, Natural Resources Defense Council
    • Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science, Harvard University

     – Watch: video recording of the event


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