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Climate Crisis


In Focus

Climate change is a global threat that requires an urgent response. The Harvard community is taking a multi-faceted approach to addressing and reversing the effects of this crisis.

Making voters care about climate change

A professor and a marketing professional try a new tack in climate-change communications.

Read the Harvard Magazine article

Climate champions

Students, scholars, and leaders throughout the Harvard community who are confronting climate change and all its effects.

A black and white photo of a law professor

Wendy Jacobs

“No single professional discipline can tackle climate change in isolation; collaboration is critical,” said the Emmett Clinical Professor of Environmental Law and developer of the groundbreaking Climate Solutions Living Lab, who we lost earlier this year.

Read more about Wendy

A student in a blue blazer

Raymond Song

“China’s climate and energy issues have always been at the heart of my passion for the environment. The opportunity to contribute to this research project that spans over three decades is a dream come true,” said the Environmental Science and Public Policy concentrator.

Read more about Raymond’s work

A student in the woods

Udit Gupta

“We need to be asking what’s greener, running applications on the device or in a data center,” said the Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at SEAS.

Read more about Udit’s work

A divinity professor sitting in a chair

Dan McKanan

“… climate change cannot be addressed in isolation, but only in relation to the intersecting challenges of white supremacy, settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and so many structures of injustice that are both the age old and reinventing themselves every day,” said the Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association senior lecturer in divinity at Harvard Divinity School.

Hear more from Dan

A collage of photos of a Harvard student and deleware

A. R. Siders

“Being uncertain doesn’t mean that we can’t address [the effects of climate change],” said the College and Law School alum, who is now an assistant professor at Delaware University’s Disaster Research Center.

Learn more about A. R. Siders

Our progress

In April 2020, we pledged to set our endowment on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from investments in its portfolio by 2050.

  • 1st

    U.S. higher education endowment to pledge net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from investments



This pledge was a first among U.S. higher education endowments and a natural extension of Harvard’s ongoing efforts—through its teaching, research, and operations—to accelerate the necessary transition to a fossil fuel-free economy. Read the report on early progress and engagement activities.

  • 30%

    reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

In addition, Harvard has outlined an ambitious goal to be fossil-fuel neutral by 2026 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. We’re also continuing to maintain the 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that we’ve already achieved.

The new SEC building with green fields surrounding it
  • 136

    LEED certified buildings

Harvard has 136 LEED certified buildings, more than any other higher ed institution.

Hybrid busses with a Harvard logo
  • 20%

    CO2 reduction with new Harvard Mail & Delivery Service vehicles



As of 2019, 30% of Harvard Mail & Delivery Services vehicles were equipped with XL Hybrid technology that provides a 25% MPG improvement on average and a 20% CO2 reduction. 

  • 11%

    reduction in water use


Since 2006, the amount of trash produced in pounds-per-capita is down 32%, and water use overall is down 11%.

Follow Sustainable Harvard on Twitter and Instagram to learn more.


Join our Harvard climate experts on one of our many livestream events.

See more climate events