Climate Change

In September 2014, MIT launched the Climate Change Conversation, which aimed to explore and assess the broad range of actions that MIT could take to make a significant and positive contribution to confronting climate change. One year later, MIT released A Plan For Climate Action, built on the work of the Climate Conversation. The plan sets a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus by at least 32 percent by 2030 over a 2014 baseline, and outlines five areas of climate action for the MIT Community:

  • research to further understand climate change and advance solutions to mitigate and adapt to it;
  • the acceleration of low-carbon energy technology via eight new research centers;
  • the development of enhanced educational programs on climate change;
  • new tools to share climate information globally; and
  • measures to reduce carbon use on the MIT campus.

MIT's Greenhouse Gas Inventory

In January 2016, the Office of Sustainability released the first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory of MIT's campus-based emissions. To explore information and data about the inventory, visit MIT's Greenhouse Gas Inventory page.

Climate at MIT

The global nature and complexity of the climate challenge we face are uniquely suited for MIT’s strong problem-solving ethos. Even before the launch of the Climate Conversation, several research centers, offices, and departments across the university have been conducting ground-breaking research and engaging in the climate change debate. Here, we invite you to check out a few highlights on climate-related research and organizations across campus.

  • The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change brings policy and science together to advance both frontiers by creating an environment where scientists and economists can work side by side. Our researchers explore the interplay between our global environment, economy, and human activities, and the potential impact of policies intended to stabilize these relationships.
  • The MIT Climate CoLab is a project of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence whose goal is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from around the world to address global climate change. This crowdsourcing platform where citizens work with experts and each other to create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change.
  • The MIT Sloan School of Management’s Sustainability Initiative seeks to inspire change by engaging people in open dialogue around sustainability issues. We innovate and collaborate to find social, economic, and environmental solutions to pressing systemic challenges.
  • The MIT Energy Institute (MITEI), launched in the fall of 2006, created a new platform for highly focused energy-related activity at MIT. The MITEI program includes research, education, campus energy management and outreach programs that cover all areas of energy supply and demand, security, and environmental impact.
  • The MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) Department. From the inaccessible depths of the terrestrial interior to the vast reaches of our galaxy, our planet and the natural systems surrounding it provide important clues to the course of our future. At EAPS, we examine the history and interactions of these systems in order to predict future events and states with greater accuracy.
  • The MIT Center for Global Change Science forms a better understanding of earth’s climate while facilitating the prediction of climate change. We are an interdisciplinary bridge spanning the MIT School of Science & the MIT School of Engineering.
  • The MIT Earth System Initiative is a research and educational enterprise that cuts across environmentally-oriented disciplines such as geology, atmospheric science, oceanography, biology, chemistry, and environmental engineering.
  • The MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research promotes rigorous and objective empirical research at MIT on issues related to energy and environmental policy to support decision-making by government and industry.

Photo from: MIT’s Joint Program on Global Change