News - Harvard Gazette

More Climate Research, Teaching to Make Greater Impact

  • Alvin Powell
| Oct. 18, 2021

Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability James Stock looks ahead

James Stock

James Stock

Photo Credit: Kris Snibbe

International climate-change experts have issued increasingly dire warnings about the need for deep emissions cuts in the years to come. The nations of the world will consider their individual commitments and plan the path ahead when they gather for the latest global climate summit in November in Scotland. Harvard, meanwhile, has signaled its intent to further boost its diverse and long-running climate-change efforts, creating a new position of vice provost for climate and sustainability and naming energy and environmental policy expert James Stock to the post in September. Stock, the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, spoke to the Gazette about the challenge ahead, for both the globe and Harvard, and his vision for how his new office can help.


James Stock

GAZETTE: There’s work on climate change going on across Harvard’s Schools. How do you see your role as vice provost intersecting with that work?

STOCK: In his letter on climate-change engagement at Harvard last month, President Larry Bacow wrote that “Harvard must stand among world leaders in addressing this challenge.” It’s my job to make this happen.

Fortunately, we are starting from a position of strength. We have many excellent individual faculty members and students working on various aspects of climate change and sustainability across the University. Also, the Harvard University Center for the Environment has done a terrific job creating a community of scholars across Harvard who are deeply engaged in climate and environment research. My task is to build on this strength at the University level to support more research, more teaching and education, and an enhanced level of external impact commensurate with Harvard’s stature.

At the moment, research and education in the climate area mainly occurs within the Schools. I see my role as both supporting existing research programs and promoting research collaborations across School boundaries. Climate change cuts across School boundaries, and tackling the challenge of climate change is a quintessential example of how we can draw on all of Harvard’s strengths....

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Powell, Alvin. “More Climate Research, Teaching to Make Greater Impact.” News, Harvard Gazette, October 18, 2021.

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