Tel Aviv University is launching its multidisciplinary Center for Climate Change Action, to find practical solutions to the global crisis. The new center, the first of its kind in Israel, will operate in the framework of the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and will cover the subject from all angles, utilizing the knowledge, resources, and capabilities of all the departments on campus (engineering, medicine, the exact sciences, life sciences, and earth sciences, law, the social sciences, humanities, and the arts). The center will collaborate with representatives from industry, academia, and government, in Israel and around the world, to develop technological solutions, raise public awareness, promote legislation and regulations, and more.
Furthermore, the center will support the development of new and existing projects, award scholarships to students, develop a fellowship program, fund mentorships, and advanced training programs, and launch an accelerator in collaboration with industry representatives. In addition, every year the center will publish position papers and hold international conferences.
Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University, said in a statement: “Tel Aviv University is a partner in the need for all humankind to deal with the dangers of global warming and climate change. Confronting this challenge requires a view from many perspectives: technological, social, moral, economic, sociological, and legal. The huge variety of disciplines at Tel Aviv University allows for such a broad view. This new multidisciplinary center that will deal with climate change joins the several multidisciplinary centers we have established in the last two years at the university, including the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, the Center for Combating Pandemics, and the Center for Quantum Science and Technology.”
The center will be headed by Prof. Colin Price, Head of the university’s Department of Environmental Studies, who explains that “Basic research is important, but since we already know that there is a problem with global warming, and we know what causes the problem, the time has come to find solutions, from every perspective and every discipline. There are technological solutions that will come from engineering and the exact sciences, but there are also solutions that will come from regulation, public policy, and even psychology. After all, you don’t need modern technology to mobilize public support for action, and without this support, technological solutions will not be implemented. The Center for Climate Change Action will be a cross-campus collaboration, with partners in high-tech, industry, government, and civil society.”
According to Prof. Price, the main goal of the research center, much like that of humanity, is to first and foremost address the source of the problem, namely the greenhouse gases that humans emit into the atmosphere, and to meet the target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as defined by the UN. “We have a total of 30 years to find solutions and reach a global balance, and there are still a lot of problems to solve,” adds Prof. Price. ”A good example of this is solar energy. It’s cheaper to generate electricity from solar energy today than from a power plant that uses fuel, coal, or even natural gas, but the solar energy must be transported to people’s homes, the electricity generated must be stored at night, that is, in batteries, and you need infrastructure to carry the energy to population centers. We need to invest in finding practical solutions today, to avoid the gloomy forecasts of tomorrow.”