Interdisciplinary

Research Clusters

The Salata Institute is committed to supporting research that promises to make a real-world impact on the climate crisis. The Climate Research Clusters Program delivers on that commitment by funding research about complex climate problems that produces useful and practical solutions. Clusters comprise interdisciplinary, cross-School teams of researchers, whose varied expertise is required to address the complexity of the problems that they seek to solve. The problems are broad enough that their solutions represent significant progress in meeting the world’s climate challenge. 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY
THE SALATA INSTITUTE FOR CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Engineer conducting a lecture in front of a screen.

Corporate Net-Zero Targets Project

A rapidly growing number of businesses are announcing greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, including net-zero goals. Corporate progress on net-zero and other emissions reduction pledges could help the United States achieve its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. However, we lack information about whether these corporate targets result in real emissions reductions. This Cluster is developing tools and methodologies to evaluate whether corporate targets are leading to emissions reductions consistent with U.S. greenhouse gas goals and strategies to ensure that corporate pledges are meaningful, verifiable, accountable, and able to support the energy transition and spur systems change.
Cluster Research
Research started:
2023
Researchers:
5 Persons
Duration:
3 Years
Traditional asian ships stranded on the beach.

Climate Adaptation in South Asia 

The purpose of this Cluster is to advance climate adaptation research and implementation at the household, community, state, and federal levels in South Asia, particularly in the context of climate-driven migration. By working with our partners to identify the most important threats to health and livelihoods, as well as the triggers for migration, we will consolidate and collect data on environmental variables like rainfall and temperature, flooding, drought, health, and agricultural production to identify communities that are at most risk; build data repositories to inform policy and research on climate adaptation; and co-design and test climate strategies at scale. The strategies will encompass technologies, financial instruments, law and policy, and education, training, and awareness programs.
Cluster Research
Research started:
2023
Researchers:
10 Persons
Duration:
3 Years
Oil industry well pumps.

Reducing Global Methane Emissions

The Cluster is seeking meaningful and sustained progress in global methane emissions reductions through research and effective engagement with policymakers in government and key stakeholders in business, nongovernmental organizations, and international institutions. Reduced methane emissions can significantly reduce, in the near term, the magnitude of climate change and its associated impacts. The Cluster’s objectives are to build on the scientific research on measurement and attribution of emissions; understand legal, regulatory, and political opportunities and constraints to methane emissions reductions in the United States; design policies that might best contribute to methane emissions reduction; work effectively through existing international venues, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and define roles that business and international and multilateral organizations can play in this effort.
Cluster Research
Research started:
2023
Researchers:
18 Persons
Duration:
3 Years
Point Marion from drone with Fort Martin coal power station on River Monongahela in the background.

Strengthening Communities

The Cluster is examining the social costs and benefits of changes in the energy system, and propose concrete ways communities, firms, and governments to help them navigate the wide range of fiscal, legal, regulatory, and development choices they face. The Cluster is engaging directly with decision-makers and stakeholders to advance and support equitable and efficient policies. Building on this direct engagement, the Cluster aims to understand the social effects of energy transitions on communities and regions, the politics of energy transitions, and potential strategies for convening and coalition-building in energy communities. Such knowledge promises to foster the development of new and pragmatic policy playbooks for effective, equitable and community-driven energy development, and new community capacity for participating in developing energy policy in energy-rich regions.
Cluster Research
Research started:
2023
Researchers:
5 Persons
Duration:
3 Years
Full shot of a group of african people passing over and under a makeshift bridge.

Climate Adaptation in the Gulf of Guinea 

The Cluster is considering climate adaptation strategies to coastal erosion in Abidjan, Accra, and Lagos that would be technically feasible, that could be implemented, and that would garner political support. The strategies include coastal defense to protect high value stretches of the coast; livelihood protection in situ, examining how to make coastal communities floodable but functional; and livelihood protection ex situ, the option of voluntary non-temporary resettlement of vulnerable coastal populations, either with or without compensation. An analysis of past and future sea level rise across the Gulf of Guinea and probabilistic projections of sea level change to 2100 CE will inform the Cluster’s understanding of the social and economic risks of erosion and flooding on six different vulnerable communities in these cities.
Cluster Research
Research started:
2023
Researchers:
5 Persons
Duration:
3 Years
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
THE SALATA INSTITUTE FOR CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Harvard Climate

Research Drives Solutions

Wed, Dec 13, 2023
Children collecting water in the desert
Mon, Feb 12, 2024
Tue, Feb 6, 2024

THE SALATA INSTITUTE

With the new Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, Harvard University is mobilizing to meet the global climate challenge.