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March 03, 2016

(Christopher Harting/AboveSummit)

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.

Listen to WGBH's Barbara Howard interview Ben Scandela about why the students decided to end their sit-in:

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

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