$25 Million Gift Launches Ambitious New Effort Tackling Poverty and Climate Change
By Peter Dizikes
With a founding $25 million gift from King Philanthropies, MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is launching a new initiative to solve problems at the nexus of climate change and global poverty.
The new program, the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI), was announced today by King Philanthropies and J-PAL, and will start immediately. K-CAI plans to rigorously study programs reducing the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations, and then work with policymakers to scale up the most successful interventions.
“To protect our well-being and improve the lives of people living in poverty, we must be better stewards of our climate and our planet,” says Esther Duflo, director of J-PAL and the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. “Through K-CAI, we will work to build a movement for evidence-informed policy at the nexus of climate change and poverty alleviation similar to the movement J-PAL helped build in global development. The moment is perhaps unique: The only silver lining of this global pandemic is that it reminds us that nature is sometimes stronger than us. It is a moment to act decisively to change behavior to stave off a much larger catastrophe in the future.”
Photo courtesy of Zoriah.