Students sue Harvard University to force it to divest from fossil fuel companies

Seven Harvard University students have filed a lawsuit asking a judge to force the university's governing body to withdraw its investments in fossil fuels.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court alleges that investment in fossil fuel companies violates the university's duties as a public charity. The complaint asks the court to compel the Harvard Corporation, the governing body, to stop investing any of its $36.4 billion endowment in gas, coal and oil companies.

Harvard students have pressed the university to divest from fossil fuels as a way to slow climate change.

Spokesman Jeff Neal said university leaders agree that climate change must be confronted but "differ on the means" to do that. Neal says Harvard continues to focus on supporting research and teaching to create climate change solutions.