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The ultimate test of this century will be how we address the energy-environment challenge: producing safe, clean, affordable energy while mitigating the deleterious effects of global climate change. How we meet this test will determine the nature of the world and the society our descendents inhabit for centuries.

The magnitude and breadth of the energy-environment challenge demands that America's premier universities harness their intellectual and technical capacities to pursue four key objectives:

  • Developing new energy sources and distribution mechanisms
  • Developing science-based approaches to preventing or mitigating the negative consequences of climate change 
  • Addressing the legal, political, economic, public health, and sociological implications of transitioning to new energy sources and responding to climate change consequences
  • Training future leaders--in science, government, business, law, public health, urban design, and many other disciplines--to effectively grapple with the multi-dimensional implications of the energy-environment challenge.

Harvard University has a special obligation to focus its uniquely broad and deep capacities on this challenge.

It is the mission of the Future of Energy initiative to create a university-wide framework for connecting scholars who work on energy related issues. The initiative's efforts are spearheaded by the Harvard University Center for the Environment.