State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Columbia Climate School Partners Among Finalists for Developing Climate Solutions Center in New York Harbor

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island announced a short list of finalists for its global competition to create a climate-focused research and educational hub on Governors Island. The Columbia University Climate School is proud to be among the chief collaborators with three of the four finalists named today to develop the transformational new Center for Climate Solutions in New York Harbor.

Finalists include teams led by the following institutions:

  • The City University of New York (CUNY) and The New School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Northeastern University
  • Stony Brook University

“Governors Island is a jewel of our harbor, and today we’re taking an important step toward transforming it into the nerve center for our city’s fight against climate change,” said de Blasio. “These finalists have submitted thoughtful, bold proposals to lead that mission. We look forward to hearing more from them as we find the perfect partner to make New York City an international leader in solving the planet’s most existential challenge.”

Fort Jay on Governors Island, with the Lower Manhattan skyline in the distance
A view of the the Lower Manhattan skyline from Governors Island. Photo: Nestor Rivera Jr

The first institution of its kind anywhere in the world, the Columbia Climate School was created by President Lee C. Bollinger in 2020 to confront the climate crisis through a combination of innovative educational programming, groundbreaking research, and science-driven solutions from the community to planetary scale. A partnership between New York City’s homegrown Climate School and the multi-disciplinary Center for Climate Solutions at Governors Island will further cement our region as the global leader in equitable climate solutions and adaptation, environmental stewardship, sustainable economic development, and urban resilience.

The Columbia Climate School looks forward to working with New York City and with each of its collaborators (CUNY and The New School, MIT, and Stony Brook) in the next phase of the competition to advance its commitment of contributing a broad range of resources and unique scientific and educational capabilities to the Climate Solutions Center.

Governors Island Climate Solutions Center

In 2021, the City of New York and the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island launched a glob­al com­pe­ti­tion to invite uni­ver­si­ties, and research insti­tu­tions to share their vision for how they would pro­gram, build, and oper­ate a pre­mier facil­i­ty to devel­op solu­tions that ready com­mu­ni­ties for cli­mate change and cre­ate cross-sec­toral edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams to sup­port the growth of high-qual­i­ty green jobs in New York City. The Cen­ter will cap­i­tal­ize on New York City’s unique tal­ent pool to pre­pare com­mu­ni­ties around the world for the impacts of cli­mate change; cre­ate good-pay­ing green jobs across the city; and fos­ter pub­lic aware­ness, dia­logue, and action to address the glob­al cli­mate crisis. Respon­dents were asked to articulate a vision that address­es the city’s and the trust’s goals as out­lined in the city’s Request for Expressions of Interest. In addi­tion to advanc­ing cli­mate-relat­ed fields, respon­dents’ plans should make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to Gov­er­nors Island’s phys­i­cal cam­pus and exist­ing com­mu­ni­ty of part­ners and vis­i­tors, while cre­at­ing broad­er oppor­tu­ni­ties for New York­ers who already enjoy the island. The cen­ter for cli­mate solu­tions is pro­ject­ed to cre­ate 7,000+ direct new jobs and approx­i­mate­ly $1 billion in eco­nom­ic impact for New York City.

Columbia Climate School

The Columbia Climate School connects, amplifies, and advances new areas of climate inquiry, research, and impact across Columbia University. The Climate School will ensure that students are equipped with the knowledge and tools to be climate leaders in the 21st century. By working with communities, businesses, and policymakers, the school will create and inspire new technologies, policies, and approaches to solving the climate crisis. The Climate School marshals the university’s strengths in basic and applied disciplines and expands its resources to understand climate and its impact on society. This unprecedented commitment to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge builds on the unique history of climate change research at Columbia, dating back to the founding of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1949 and spanning the many decades since. Columbia’s faculty include some of the world’s leading climate experts across multiple disciplines of science, law, business, policy, engineering and more. The university is harnessing its talent, infrastructure, and reach to address this unprecedented global challenge

This story was originally published by Columbia News

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Miles Aiken
2 years ago

I would like to add to this group myself, a pioneer climate educator and nyc pioneer, pre super sandy, activist for environmental justice for low income peoples, from harlem against mayor bloomberg and shawn donavan. Let the court record show that they with amanda burden and the city council gave tax incentives and zoning to the rich to go green, and left the low income peoples in fossil burning buildings. MILES AIKEN. EMAIL.