MIT Climate Activists Reach Agreement With Administrators, End 116-Day Sit-In

Climate activists have been occupying MIT President Rafael Reif’s office for 116 days, calling on administrators to drop stocks in big coal and tar sands and commit to making the Cambridge campus carbon neutral by 2040.

Activists say MIT hasn’t fully met any of those demands, but they claim a small win: convincing MIT to aspire to carbon neutrality.

“It won’t commit to that yet, but it will ratchet up its ambition with time,” said Ben Scandela, a PhD student in civil and environmental engineering.

In October, MIT pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 32 percent by 2030.

Activists say that’s not ambitious enough and they’l continue to pressure the university to take greater climate action.

Earlier: MIT Initiates Five-Year Climate Change Plan

Last spring, WGBH’s On Campus produced a week-long series, The Cost of Divestment. The series was done in partnership with WCAI’s Living Lab.

Related: Divestment Is More Difficult Than Most Think

[Cross-posted at On Campus: the WGBH News Higher Education Blog]

Kirk Carapezza

Kirk Carapezza is the lead reporter for On Campus. Kirk has reported for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis., and Vermont Public Radio in Montpelier, Vt. He's been a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad.

Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. When he's not reporting or editing stories on campus, you can find him posting K's on the Wall at Fenway.