Minutes from May 23, 2017 Climate Action Advisory Committee Meeting

May 23, 2017

Climate Action Advisory Committee
Full Committee Meeting: Tuesday, May 23, 2017


The meeting began with an update on efforts coordinated by the MIT Office of Sustainability to assess campus climate resiliency.

The committee then briefly reviewed and discussed the goals for engagement with industry, government, and civil society that had been refined based on discussion at the previous CAAC meeting, in March. Six goals comprise the refined list. They are:

  1. Help governments and private organizations develop strategies, including carbon pricing strategies, to meet their climate goals.
  2. Support federal funding for clean energy R&D and for climate research.
  3. Work with fossil fuel companies on efforts to align their business strategies with a two-degree future.
  4. Promote understanding of climate science, impacts, and opportunities with key audiences in the U.S.
  5. Recruit emerging nontraditional sources to fund climate and low-carbon energy research.
  6. Strengthen interest among MIT students in climate and sustainability.

The committee and entities involved in implementing the climate action plan will endeavor to implement as many of these six goals as practicable, and will report to the MIT community on progress.

The committee then devoted most of the meeting to discussing an idea for advancing the first engagement goal: Namely, convening a fall summit on regional climate leadership. The committee discussed the geographic scope of the summit and how to provide for virtual participation in the summit. The committee also discussed options for co-conveners; the idea of creating challenges based on the MIT Solve model; and opportunities to continue engagement with states after the summit concludes by offering analysis and assessment of climate plans, among other activities.

Next steps:

Committee staff will lead the development of work plans for those engagement goals ready to be implemented. The work plans will cover audiences/stakeholders; existing MIT efforts that can be leveraged; potential external collaborators; resources, barriers to implementation, and tactics; timelines; and metrics for assessing progress.

The committee will next meet during the fall of 2017.