Climate change is an omnipresent issue with the hottest recorded year, continuous extreme weather, and long-term impacts that will be determined by near-term choices. While driven by emissions from energy, industry, and agriculture in a concentrated set of economies, climate change disproportionately impacts the up to 3.6 billion people living in contexts that are highly vulnerable to impacts including extreme heat, flooding, and droughts. The climate crisis requires dramatic action, including rapid technology deployment alongside bold policies, financial commitments from governments, private capital, and philanthropy, and global market shifts.
Technology and innovation have an important role to play in contending with the effects of climate change. Technology exists to replace or mitigate all major areas of current emissions but often has minimal adoption due to high costs, a lack of engagement with communities, and the need for design at scale. Innovation can offer new business models, decreased costs, and approaches to scaling impact alongside or in place of new technologies that can help meet mitigation and adaptation goals at the speed of the crisis.
MIT Solve seeks exceptional solutions that leverage technology to address the causes and impacts of the climate crisis. While we are excited to select and support innovators across any climate area, we have a particular interest for 2024 in solutions that:
- Adapt cities to more extreme weather, including through climate-smart buildings, incorporating climate risk in infrastructure planning, and restoring regional ecosystems.
- Enable a low-carbon and nutritious global food system, across large and small-scale producers plus supply chains that reduce food loss.
- Strengthen coastal and marine ecosystems and communities through the broader blue economy, including fisheries, clean energy, and monitoring, reporting, and verification.
Special Call: Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program
Black and Latine communities in the US are structurally the most vulnerable to climate-fueled hazards and the least likely to have access to healthy and affordable food. As part of Solve’s ongoing work on US racial equity, we encourage those working to address racial disparities in climate action across US communities to apply for the Challenge and receive additional support through our Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program.