Harvard to Drive Engagement with Climate Leaders
CLIMATE ACTION ACCELERATOR
The Salata Institute is convening leaders in climate research from across Harvard University and some of the world’s most influential decision-makers to address climate change. The setting for this first-ever engagement at this scale will be the Institute’s inaugural annual symposium, “Rising to the Climate Challenge: The Next Hard Steps in Reducing Emissions,” which will take place on May 9, 2023.
“One of our fundamental objectives is to announce to the world of climate professionals that Harvard is open for business and that it intends to engage them substantively on the most pressing climate issues,” said Jim Stock, director of the Salata Institute.
This first event will hone in on the fundamental changes that developed countries must make to reach net-zero emissions goals. From the perspective of the faculty who are designing the program, leadership in reducing emissions among these countries, and especially the United States, is a moral imperative and a practical necessity.
“We stand at a critical moment in the effort to decarbonize the economy,” said Stock. While the decarbonization agenda has advanced significantly – including the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States – emissions are not decreasing quickly enough to avert the harm that scientists are predicting. The United States, for instance, is expected to reduce emissions only by 40% relative to 2005, by 2030. The climate-related disasters of recent years underscore the urgency to act faster and more decisively.
The discussions among Harvard’s climate experts and leading decision-makers will explore how forces in society – politics, social change, business, and technology – should be harnessed to make progress. The faculty who will participate in these discussions will represent various fields, including Economics, Government, History of Science, Finance, Management, Public Policy, Law, and Earth and Planetary Sciences. These faculty members will share the stage with leaders from government, business, civil society, including community leaders and activists.
The Salata Institute is organizing the symposium with the support of the Harvard Business School (HBS), which is organizing its own climate conference on May 10th. Several other climate events are also being planned at Harvard that week. The event will take place in Klarman Hall on the HBS campus. Some 500 climate professionals, faculty, students, and alumni are expected to attend the invitation-only event.
For the Salata Institute, the symposium exemplifies its mission: to draw expertise from across Harvard’s schools, and to deploy the University’s convening power to develop and promote durable, effective, and equitable solutions to climate change.
Additional information about the symposium’s program will appear on this website as the program takes shape in the coming weeks.