Starting up University’s new climate, sustainability efforts

n September, President Larry Bacow announced that Jim Stock had been named the University’s first vice provost for climate and sustainability, charged with guiding and further developing Harvard’s strategies for advancing climate research and its global impact through close collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and academic leadership from across the University. Stock’s office has a bold agenda, focusing on making real-world impacts on climate and environmental issues both at Harvard and in the global community. Much of the work will be in pursuit and support of groundbreaking research, but equally fundamental is climate education and preparing students from every discipline to lead in the age of the climate crisis. The initiative comes as the sense of urgency grows. A new scientific report released Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, convened by the United Nations, warns that if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced soon the effects of climate change could overwhelm efforts to adapt. Harvard is ramping up its new initiative. George Sarrinikolaou was named assistant provost for climate and sustainability in January, and the University’s Faculty Advisory Committee, consisting of nine individuals from across Harvard’s Schools and departments, began convening to set the initial direction for the office.

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