Harvard’s Financing of CO2 Emissions from the Reserves of Fossil Fuel Companies

Financed Reserves-Based CO2 Emissions Through Direct Asset Holdings

  • Harvard Financed CO2 Emissions
Fossil Free Indexes analyzed the publicly reported direct holdings of Harvard’s endowment. With almost $1 billion in this directly held portion, Harvard finances 2.3 million tons of potential CO2 emissions related to the reserves of fossil fuel companies. Of this amount, 55% is financed through the holding of seven exchange-traded fund (ETF) positions, and 45% through the ownership of the equities of four fossil fuel companies. Harvard’s policy portfolio, which guides its strategic asset allocation, suggests that a third of the endowment is invested in public equities through investment manager mandates. Assuming typical emissions intensities associated with equity categories, the Harvard endowment is estimated to finance more than 100 million tons of potential CO2 emissions from the reserves of fossil fuel companies through direct and indirect holdings of public equities. This large number reflects a strategic policy with a relatively heavy allocation to emerging market equities, the most emissions-intensive segment. Such a level of emissions would rank a company at #88 on the Carbon Underground 100 Oil & Gas list.

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