MIT’s second climate action plan, titled Fast Forward: MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade, was announced by President L. Rafael Reif, Vice President for Research Maria Zuber, Associate Provost Richard Lester, Dean of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Glen Shor in a May 12 email to MIT community members.
The email writes that MIT is in a position “to set a standard of climate leadership” and that with the plan, it commits to “a coordinated set of leadership actions to spur innovation, accelerate action, and deliver impact.”
The development of the new plan was led by Zuber, Lester, and Chandrakasan, who also engaged with community members and solicited feedback for the plan through various meetings, engagement sessions, climate symposia, and fora with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external partners.
The email describes the new plan as a “living document” that may be updated with continued feedback from the community, who can view the plan and climate initiatives at the Climate Portal and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zuber said in an interview with The Tech that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.”
According to the email, the “broad” challenge faced by the plan is finding “affordable, equitable ways to bring every sector of the global economy to net-zero carbon emissions no later than 2050.” The email writes that this challenge can be addressed by pursuing two strategies: to go “as far… [and] as fast as we can” with the tools the world currently has and to “invest in, invent, and deploy new tools.” The plan also includes an additional strategy of educating and empowering the next generation, “who are inheriting” the problem of climate change and “must ultimately solve it.”