Why a Climate Action Accelerator?

Harvard University is committing to engaging with the world on climate in ways that produce results. The Accelerator will provide a credible, nonpartisan platform for discussions and progress on climate problems.
Feb 13, 2023

Mid view of the ornate gate in the Harvard Campus

Climate Action Accelerator

The world is facing a climate emergency. Harvard University’s distinctive breadth, depth, and position as a leader in higher education give it both an opportunity and a responsibility to pursue meaningful change globally and empower the next generation with hope and optimism.  

The Climate Action Accelerator will develop into a powerful new platform that strategically aligns and amplifies Harvard University’s research and outreach efforts, while leveraging the University’s convening power and expertise to play a leading role in meeting this challenge. Rarely in its recent history has Harvard focused with this level of intensity—and forged this level of alignment and consensus at the University-wide level—on an issue of such global significance. 

The Accelerator will ensure that Harvard’s most consequential climate research both shapes and is shaped by stakeholders, so that researchers produce knowledge, ideas, and tools that will drive progress in reducing emissions and adapting to a changing climate. 

Because fruitfully convening leaders across the political spectrum is critical to building consensus for climate action, the Accelerator will engage decisionmakers—in government, business, civil society, and affected communities—early in the Institute’s research process, gaining valuable perspective and buy-in on the work. 

The Accelerator will also put its communications capacity in the service of the Salata Institute affiliates, the many Harvard faculty members who study climate issues across the University. The Accelerator will amplify faculty voices on salient climate topics, and support faculty in engaging decisionmakers around the knowledge that Harvard research produces. 

Beyond its engagement with research, the Accelerator will provide a credible, nonpartisan platform for discussions and progress on climate problems. Opportunities outside the University may prompt discussions in which the Accelerator serves as a neutral, respected third-party, which facilitates dialogue and progress. 

Where there is opportunity for greater impact through collaboration with other universities, the Salata Institute, too, will offer the Accelerator platform for high-level discussions and convenings. 

The annual Harvard Climate Symposium, public events, and the production of varied digital content will also be part of the Accelerator, providing ways for alumni and the public to participate in its activities.