Minutes for March 31, 2017 Climate Action Advisory Committee Meeting
Climate Action Advisory Committee
Full Committee Meeting: Friday, March 31, 2017
The meeting began with a presentation of the proposed goals developed by the working group on goal-setting.
The working group developed criteria for identifying goals; specifically, that the goals should: be ambitious; be able to be built upon over time; reinforce MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change; have a meaningful impact in reducing GHG emissions; permit MIT to have a big impact in achieving goals; leverage MIT’s strengths; be politically pragmatic; and be rooted in evidence of effectiveness.
With these criteria as a basis, the goal-setting group developed the following list of proposed goals:
- Help Massachusetts to achieve its 2050 climate goals;
- Help countries and U.S. states to develop their climate action plans;
- Support federal funding for clean energy R&D/climate research;
- Support enactment of a price on carbon;
- Work with fossil fuel companies on efforts to align their business strategies with a two-degree future;
- Enhance understanding of climate impacts among business leaders in targeted sectors;
- Recruit emerging nontraditional sources to fund climate and low-carbon energy research;
- Promote understanding of climate science, opportunities with key audiences in the U.S.; and
- Strengthen interest among MIT students in climate and sustainability.
After the presentation, the committee discussed how to refine the goals. Among the items discussed were:
- Finding ways to engage faculty members in how to advance climate solutions not just from a technical perspective, but socially and economically;
- Broadening the first two proposed goals to include corporations and subnational governments at different levels (i.e., including cities);
- Finding ways to help individuals learn about opportunities to take action on climate change;
- Learning how MIT is perceived among diverse audiences when it comes to climate change (i.e., is MIT seen as a trustworthy messenger)
The committee also discussed ideas for implementing the goals, such as:
- Partnering with a university in another part of the country;
- Hosting a fall climate convening;
- Developing curricula on climate change for use in secondary schools in the U.S.;
- Hosting trainings on effective climate communications and on the use of tools developed at MIT, such as Climate Interactive;
- Helping Massachusetts to improve home energy efficiency and increase use of renewables, particularly in low-income communities.
Committee staff will refine the list of goals based on members’ discussion and feedback.
The next full committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, 2017.