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The Climate Project at MIT

At her inauguration in May 2023, President Kornbluth called “climate change and its mounting consequences … the greatest and most urgent scientific and societal challenge of our age” — and she galvanized the MIT community to meet that challenge with “the kind of grand creative enterprise in which the energy you release together is greater than what you each put in. A nuclear fusion of problem-solving and possibility!”

This vision is taking shape as the Climate Project at MIT. You can read the plan here.

This webpage is a temporary home for preliminary information about the Climate Project at MIT — and a “launchpad” as we begin an accelerated search for its leaders.

Developed through extensive consultation and planning with experts from disciplines across the Institute, the Climate Project at MIT represents an ambitious new model of accelerated, university-led innovation. Its three-part structure — consisting of the Climate Missions, the Climate Frontier projects, and the Climate HQ — is designed to marshal the Institute’s talent and resources to research, develop, deploy, and scale up serious solutions to help change the planet’s climate trajectory.

This work will revolve around six focused missions — and we’re recruiting faculty leaders for them now:

  • Decarbonizing Energy and Industry
  • Restoring the Atmosphere, Protecting the Land and Oceans
  • Empowering Frontline Communities 
  • Building and Adapting Healthy, Resilient Cities
  • Inventing New Policy Approaches
  • Wild Cards

The Climate Project at MIT will also support climate education activities led by academic departments and other MIT units and encourage people across the Institute to find ways to focus their own work on this great shared human challenge.

We look forward to having partners in academia, industry, finance, philanthropy, and government join us in this work. 

The plan

This plan outlines a new, whole-of-MIT approach to the climate challenge now facing the world.  It is designed to enable MIT to do bigger things faster in the climate domain, and to allow us to work more effectively with our partners to help implement practical solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation both locally and globally. 

Let’s mobilize!

We’re currently looking for faculty leaders to drive the work of the six Climate Missions and engage MIT faculty and research staff from a range of disciplines and relevant MIT departments, labs, programs, and centers to participate in the work of the missions, from goal-setting and road-mapping to project selection, design, and monitoring progress.

We can only meet this crisis if we’re brave enough to lower our shields, reach out and work together in new ways. And we cannot be satisfied with the normal academic tempo—there simply isn’t time.

– President Sally Kornbluth