As the world crawls from one crisis to the next, first the pandemic impacts and then the ongoing Ukraine war, the collateral damages are unfathomable. Food prices are gushing to all-time highs and more places across various nations are being marked as/ or potential hunger hotspots.
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Making matters worse, the double threat of the pandemic and war is only worsening climate change concerns. Sea levels are rising, plastic pollution is worsening, and temperatures are increasing at an alarming rate.
The serious global issues surrounding climate change are an illustration of how much there is yet to accomplish when it comes to spreading awareness, informing the public, and directing our creative energies toward creating climate change solutions.
Meanwhile, many universities are taking climate change initiatives by committing to achieve zero carbon emissions, retrofitting facilities to be more energy efficient, and equipping students with the skills and knowledge to make individual improvements.
As academic institutions pillared on a network of intellectual communities, universities can help eliminate academic barriers by stimulating partnerships between experts from different fields.
In a world that is becoming more politicized and divisive, here are five universities combining academic expertise with dynamic actions on climate change concerns to build the future that we aspire to.
5 Universities Actively Contributing to Climate Change Solutions
The university’s Climate Change Communication program assesses public awareness of climate change. The research program helps lawmakers, policymakers, educators, and even the media to communicate with the public about the important climate issues in more persuasive ways. Another initiative of the university called the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) collects data from the worldwide perspective on environmental performance and ranks nations according to how well their ecosystems and human health are protected. Yale’s EPI is a collaborative effort with other universities, economists, foundations, and the World Economic Forum to produce insightful findings— ranking 180 countries and their climate change impacts using 40 performance indicators across 11 issue areas.
Stanford University is investing a $1.1 billion donation in environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation for higher education. The new Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will foster in-depth learning and highly effective responses to urgent global concerns. The study fields will include climate change, energy technology, the natural environment, food and water security, Earth and planetary sciences, sustainable urban planning, human health, and human society and behavior (among others). Stanford also runs the Climate Change Education project for middle and high school students. A curriculum designed to educate the younger students about climate change and environmental concerns.
Columbia university launched its first climate school, Columbia Climate School, in 2021. It offers programs, research, and projects on geosciences, social justice, the environment, sustainability, and MA in Climate + society. Columbia University is committed to tackling issues with strong public attention and global concern.
The Brown University Institute for Environment and Society is home to the Climate Social Science Network program. CSSN, launched in 2020, organizes and develops unconventional research on political struggles around climate change. The experts include 75 scholars from 15 different nations. The university has also recently created a Climate Opportunity Map that allows the users to get specific insight into the potential economic gains of a state (US) if it were to adopt a net-zero energy policy.
The Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, launched by Cornell University in 2021, offers social sciences programs, including environmental and sustainability policy. The establishment of the school is a reality of discussion, spanned over five decades, of opening a policy school. The Cornell Brooks School offers an interdisciplinary and problem-focused study of public policy to analyze the social impacts of government decisions. The focuses are on environmental and sustainability policy, human security, inequality, and social policy, data science and technology policy, and public policy, among others.