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OWOE - Amazing Energy - universities
MIT Climate Action Plan
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is continuing and expanding its leadership role in the fight against climate change by leveraging its reputation as one of the premier technical institutes in the world. In 2006 MIT launched its MIT Energy Initiative (MITei) (see MITei) that aimed to link science, innovation, and policy to transform the world's energy systems. Then in 2015 the Institute issued its Plan for Action on Climate Change. This 5-year plan addressed what MIT needed to do to take a leadership role in the effort to combat climate change. Examples of results from this plan are:
  • MIT scientists advanced the understanding of the Earth's climate system, including investigating the role of Arctic ice cover in regulating the speed and salinity of a major ocean current.
  • MIT researchers explored ways to refine existing renewable energy technologies, improve battery storage, modernize the electrical grid, devise practical methods for carbon capture and storage, and harness the potential of fusion to transform the world's energy system.
  • Faculty across the Institute expanded MIT's climate and clean energy curricular offerings, and students responded by completing sustainability and energy minors, certificates, and courses, and by undertaking research projects and internships.
  • MIT faculty and staff created new, award-winning communications resources to give the public accessible, evidence-based explanations of climate science and the possibilities for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • The Institute as a whole reduced its direct carbon footprint, even as the campus grew, including creation of one of the nation's largest solar farms.
Although this plan achieved many of its goals, the planet has continued to warm due to the continued buildup of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, primarily due to human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels. Because those fuels are the energy source for almost every aspect of modern life, the Institute realized that achieving a steep and rapid decline in their use would require an unprecedented global economic and technological transformation and that more could be, and should be, done by MIT to help enable that transformation. That objective has shaped the new Fast Forward: MIT's Climate Action Plan for the Decade.

Like the first plan, the new climate action plan is focused on MIT's unique capacities to address the problem at hand: a powerful research engine; a community of scholars primed to work at the intersection of disciplines; experience moving ideas from lab to impact; and long-standing ties with industry and the public sector, domestically and globally. This new plan outlines measures to build upon and expand progress over the next decade. It consists of five broad areas of action: sparking innovation, educating future generations, informing and leveraging government action, reducing MIT's own climate impact, and uniting and coordinating all of MIT's climate efforts.

In particular with regard to sparking innovation, the new plan features a wide array of action items to encourage innovation in critical areas, including new programs as well as the expansions of existing programs. This includes the Climate Grand Challenges, announced last year, which focus on game-changing research advances across disciplines spanning MIT.