A new, multidisciplinary, collaborative project to investigate climate change, energy security, and sustainable development in China has received the first $3.75 million grant from the new Harvard Global Institute.

The grant to a project led by atmospheric scientist Michael McElroy, the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies, and economist Dale Jorgenson, the Samuel W. Morris University Professor, provides $1.25 million annually for three years and can be renewed for two more.

The new initiative will involve a wide range of activities, including research, public lectures, conferences, research symposia, a research seminar series, policy consultations with decision-makers, public outreach, and a summer course in China for undergraduate and graduate students.

The project’s central focus will be its research agenda, joining with Chinese collaborators to explore the intersections of diverse fields. A core group of studies will leverage Harvard’s strengths in energy science, atmospheric chemistry, and climate science. Another will link economics, engineering, atmospheric science, and environmental health in national policy assessments. A third will track urban transportation, air quality, and associated risks to human health in a case city, Chengdu. The project will also seed work in social sciences, history, and Chinese environmental and climate law.

McElroy said the project, China 2030/2050, has a long-term horizon because in many ways what happens in the near term already has been determined by investments in long-lived power plants and other energy-related infrastructure built or under construction. It is in the 20 years after 2030, he said, that innovative thinking and planning could allow a more fundamental transition to a non-fossil fuel economy to take place.

Read the full article announcing the launch of the Global Institute here.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies