MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee to hold divestment debate

Interactive event to feature six prominent figures in the climate change and energy discussion debating fossil fuel divestment

April 7, 2015

Press Contact

Andrew Carleen
Phone: 617-253-1682
MIT News Office

CAMBRIDGE, MA – On Thursday, April 9, the Climate Change Conversation Committee at MIT will host “Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment, a discussion on whether MIT should divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies as part of a response to climate change, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

The event will feature professors from MIT, Harvard University and Stanford University, as well as investment management experts, presenting pro-divestment and anti-divestment arguments in a classic debate format. The debate, which will be moderated by Tony Cortese of the Intentional Endowments Network, will provide a nuanced view of relevant issues being widely contested on university campuses, a diversity of expert perspectives, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities, drawbacks, and alternatives to fossil fuel divestment.

The event is the fourth in a series of events organized for the Climate Change Conversation Committee. Last September, the committee was tasked by MIT President L. Rafael Reif to launch an open, campus-wide conversation on how MIT can lead in confronting climate change. The committee is scheduled to produce a final report with key suggestions that encompass the range of views of the community by Commencement 2015. Reactions to the report will then be solicited from the MIT community and, from the collective input, recommendations for a path forward will be made to the president.

Additional details are available here:

Media interested in attending the event should email Andrew Carleen at The debate will also be screened via live webcast that will be found at

WHAT:             Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment


WHO:               Moderator: Tony Cortese, Intentional Endowments Network

                        Debating for fossil fuel divestment:

                        Naomi Oreskes, professor of history of science at Harvard University

                        Don Gould, trustee at Pitzer College and CIO of Gould Asset Management

                        John Sterman, professor at MIT Sloan School of Management

                        Debating against fossil fuel divestment:

                        Brad Hager, professor and director of the MIT Earth Resources Laboratory

                        Frank Wolak, professor of economics at Stanford University

                        Timothy Smith, director of ESG Engagement at Walden Asset Management

WHEN:             Thursday, April 9

   4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:          MIT Kresge Auditorium          

                      48 Massachusetts Ave