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More than 1,500 Yale students walk out of class, rally for climate change action

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — More than 1,500 Yale University students concerned about climate change took a stand on Wednesday.

The students walked out of their classes as part of the global week of climate strikes.

They claimed that business could not continue as usual while the university remains invested in fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rico’s debt.

“This is the crisis of our generation and all the coming generations,” said protest organizer Martin Man. “And Yale can’t continue to invest and make money from fossil fuel companies like this.”

The students and community members rallied on Cross Campus before marching to President Salovey’s office.

They demanded that Yale stop investing with the fossil fuel industry and cancel its holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt.

“We are calling out the fact that these investments are unethical and that there needs to be real action taken,” said Man.

“We understand that most schools hold diverse portfolios, but this is an era of divestment from so many campaigns of injustice and there are a lot of other ways to invest that money besides fossil fuels and disaster debt,” said Allegra Lovejoy.

Students told News 8 that they feel empowered for being a part of the protest.

“I am so proud that my class was able to organize and stand up for what we believed in and I’m even more proud to be taking part in this,” said Tiya Proctor-Floyd.

Following the walkout, Director of Media Relations, Karen Peart, released a statement which read in part:

President Salovey announced on Sept. 19 that he has formed a task force to review and propose new ambitious and transformative goals for Yale’s Climate Action initiative, which is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in campus facilities and operations. The president has specifically charged the task force to explore how quickly Yale can achieve net zero carbon emissions — a goal in line with the Paris Agreement.

More information on Yale’s efforts on climate change can be found online.

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