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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.

Vice provost for climate and sustainability

James H. Stock, a Harvard professor and economist known for his expertise on energy and environmental policy, has been named the University’s inaugural vice provost for climate and sustainability.

Read more on The Harvard Gazette

Climate champions

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


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

Two professors in Harvard Yard

Naomi Oreskes and Yvette Jackson

Jackson, assistant professor of music, wrote the 15-minute piece “Doubt” in collaboration with Oreskes, professor of the history of science, whose academic work has focused on the denial of climate science.

Listen to “Doubt”

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

Leslie Harris

Leslie M. Harris

The Beatrice Shepherd Blane Fellow uses memoir and family, urban, and environmental histories to explore New Orleans, from its founding through its uncertain future amid climate change.

Watch Leslie tell her story

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 Divinity School senior lecturer.

Hear more from Dan

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.

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