At Yale, new FedEx-supported center to focus on climate change solutions

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A $100 million gift from FedEx will help fund a new center at Yale University focused on developing natural solutions for reducing atmospheric carbon. The Center for Natural Carbon Capture will support and accelerate applied research across academic disciplines, helping to establish a more sustainable and healthier future for our planet.

The goal of the center will be to develop interventions that enhance the Earth’s abilities to store carbon and methods that model these natural processes. The Center will develop a portfolio of natural carbon removal strategies that combines both rapid and long-term, large-scale approaches.

“Yale’s efforts to address climate change build upon a rich history of research on the environment, scholarship with policy implications, and education. Our legacy includes faculty members who have defined their fields, Nobel laureates, and students who have gone on to lead meaningful change around the world,” said Yale University President Peter Salovey. “The Center for Natural Carbon Capture is part of this history, and it epitomizes Yale’s approach to tackling global problems — bridging disciplines to foster truly collaborative, innovative problem-solving. I am thrilled that FedEx shares our vision for this important work, and I am deeply thankful for its support.”

For the full announcement, visit news.yale.edu. The center has also been announced on Yale’s Planetary Solutions Project website.

The Center for Natural Carbon Capture will unite research efforts taking place across Yale and focus them on a shared goal. It will foster closer connections among researchers in the Yale School of the Environment, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and particularly among key departments such as Earth and planetary sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, chemistry, and chemical and environmental engineering. Yale is also home to renowned centers and institutes, such as the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale and the Yale Energy Sciences Institute, which represent extensive expertise in the disciplines required to advance these efforts. The Center for Natural Carbon Capture will accelerate, bolster, and broadcast activity across all these areas.

“Developing natural solutions for carbon sequestration is an ambitious but realistic strategy,” said Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of the Environment. “It will have an immense impact on our ability to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigate the effects of global warming. Earth’s natural systems are ripe with opportunities, and the Center for Natural Carbon Capture will enable research that transforms these opportunities into real-world, applicable solutions. These natural solutions must be used as part of a portfolio of methods to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.”

The center will be a component of Yale’s rapidly growing Planetary Solutions Project, which encompasses three major goals: to mitigate global warming and environmental concerns, adapt to a changing planet, and engage individuals, organizations, and governments to facilitate action. Capturing and storing carbon is a key pillar of the mitigation goal, and the Center for Natural Carbon Capture will be an essential part of that effort, as well as related work in energy efficiency and alternative energy.

Support for the center is part of an ambitious goal from FedEx to achieve carbon neutral operations globally by 2040.

“At FedEx, we have a responsibility to take action in addressing climate change,” said Frederick W. Smith ’66, chairman and CEO, FedEx Corp. “We have created a roadmap to achieve our carbon neutral goal that includes helping to establish the Center for Natural Carbon Capture. Yale has a deep reservoir of expertise and researchers working on this shared problem, which makes it the ideal place for this important work.”

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