To help double energy and food production, halve carbon output by 2050, and set a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2100, MIT has a strong, collaborative focus on climate, environment, and energy research, combining technical advances with innovations in the political, cultural, and economic dimensions of climate, energy, food, and water issues.
Informing policy | resolving social and economic barriers
MIT's social science and humanities fields contribute to increased planetary health with research that informs and guides better public policy, and that reveals solutions — including more strategic science communications — to the barriers that prevent people, organizations, and governments from supporting advances in environmental practices and policy.
The fauclty of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (MIT SHASS) also teach every MIT undergraduate, empowering the next generation of problem-solvers with political, economic, cultural, and historical perspectives.
3 Questions | Benjamin Olken on the economic impact of climate change
"There has been a lot of emphasis on studying the effects of climate change on agriculture. But if it’s affecting other aspects of the economy — like industrial output, investment, and innovation — the long-run impact could be much bigger. As far as political conflict stemming from climate change...there is consistent evidence that increased temperatures lead to increased conflicts. The weather makes your crops grow badly, which in turn could lead to unemployment, which could lead to more conflict. The literature tells us that weather can affect things in many ways."