Yale has announced the creation of a new fund to support early-stage research on solutions related to climate change—the latest step in the university’s wide-ranging efforts to promote bold innovations in dealing with global environmental crises.
The Climate Impact Innovation Fund, established with an initial $15 million contribution from generous donors, will operate as part of the Yale Planetary Solutions Project, a campus-wide initiative launched in December 2020 to identify and advance powerful, integrated solutions to global environmental threats. Due to the urgency of responding to the climate threat, the new Climate Impact Innovation Fund will be spent down within the next 30 years.
“Innovation is about approaching existing problems in new, creative ways,” Provost Scott Strobel said. “The Climate Impact Innovation Fund is aimed at offering Yale faculty the support to do just that.”
“Yale is acting with urgency and commitment to help avert the climate crisis,” said President Peter Salovey. “We are searching for new, transformative, and scalable solutions to galvanize effective climate action. The Climate Impact Innovation Fund will provide vital support for our work. The Yale faculty will use it to take on high-risk, high-reward research projects and break through barriers to protect the planet.”
Climate change is a multifaceted and multidisciplinary challenge and Yale’s approach to this work integrates nearly all academic disciplines and departments on campus. With the help of the new fund and the initiatives of the Planetary Solutions Project, Yale intends to leverage the University’s tremendous intellectual and leadership resources to catalyze innovation and progress. The fund will focus on developing new ideas and solutions aimed at net zero carbon emissions and a sustainable future, including a focus on greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner energy sources, resilient ecosystems and infrastructure, and protecting public health—particularly for communities and populations that are disproportionately harmed by a warming planet.
“We are in a unique position at Yale where we have the expertise and the will to help solve global problems,” said Strobel. “That means we also have a responsibility to do so. This fund and the Planetary Solutions Project exemplify our commitment to make substantial progress on healing our planet.”
“The Climate Impact Innovation Fund will enable Yale faculty and staff to explore bold ideas that, while possibly long shots, could be game changers,” said Casey R. Pickett, Planetary Solutions Project director. “We are deeply grateful for this generous gift, and for the faith the donors have in the ingenuity and commitment of Yale’s faculty and staff.”
The Climate Impact Innovation Fund will be one of the primary funding sources supporting the Planetary Solution Project’s current request for proposals. All proposals from Yale faculty researchers—advancing innovative solutions for climate change, environmental health, biodiversity loss, and environmental justice—are due Jan. 28, 2022.