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Harvard professor’s fossil fuel links under scrutiny over climate grant

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An eminent Harvard environmental law professor’s links to the fossil fuel industry are under scrutiny from colleagues and students after she was awarded a prestigious research grant to investigate corporate climate pledges.

Jody Freeman, founding director of Harvard’s environmental and energy law program and former Obama-era White House advisor, is a paid board member of ConocoPhillips – a Fortune 500 American multinational oil and gas company that was ranked the 13th most polluting in the world by a Guardian investigation in 2019. The firm’s controversial Willow drilling project in Alaska was recently approved by the Biden administration.

Professor Freeman also co-chairs Harvard’s presidential committee on sustainability and was recently awarded funding by the university’s new Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability to lead research on corporate net zero targets.

Colleagues say Freeman’s fossil fuel ties raises serious questions about a conflict of interest, while threatening to damage the university’s climate credentials.

A letter by the Harvard Faculty…

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