As part of the Climate Commitment, Duke joined an initiative to create the New York Climate Exchange, a center “dedicated to researching and creating innovative climate solutions” developed and maintained by various public and private institutions.
“Duke is thrilled to be a partner in the New York Climate Exchange and its community-first approach to confronting the complex impacts of climate change,” President Vincent Price told Duke Today in April. “We look forward to bringing Duke’s academic, research and applied expertise to this critical partnership, which will help provide transformational solutions to the climate crisis.”
The 400,000-square-foot center will be located on Governors Island off the coast of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Led by Stony Brook University, the New York Climate Exchange will include new research and classroom buildings, university hotel rooms, auditorium spaces and restored historic buildings — all inspired by “sustainable and resilient” designs.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams selected the Exchange from a pool of proposals for his city’s Center for Climate Solutions initiative. The Exchange will host educational and training programs while seeking to advance environmental justice, improve energy, water and food systems and foster sustainable urban environments.
Adams’ office states that the $700 million initiative will create more than 2,200 jobs and is set to serve 600 college students, 4,500 K-12 students, 6,000 job trainees and 250 faculty and researchers once fully operational. Construction is expected to begin in 2025, and the Exchange is expected to open in 2028.
Other core and affiliate partners of the Exchange include the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, New York University and the University of Oxford.
Bill Boulding, dean of the Fuqua School of Business, will sit on the board of directors, while Jerome Lynch, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, will serve on a steering committee regarding the design and outreach efforts of the Exchange, according to a joint email from Boulding and Lynch to The Chronicle.
“As an affiliate partner, we’re not directly responsible for the costs of planning and building the Climate Exchange facilities, but we can and will contribute to building the philanthropic base to make this effort a success while its growth is underway,” they wrote in their email.
Boulding and Lynch reaffirmed Duke’s commitment to “exploring solutions to the climate crisis and training tomorrow’s leaders,” claiming that the partnership in the Exchange “fits [Duke] like a glove.”
According to Boulding and Lynch, Duke’s affiliate membership will allow the University to collaborate with New York’s leaders and financial markets at the Exchange, to “undoubtedly amplify” the University’s range of initiatives under the Climate Commitment.
“We anticipate Duke people will be involved not only in the basic research needed to adapt populous coastal cities to rising oceans and more intense storm weather, but that we will also be developing intellectual property that can be commercialized to effect change,” they wrote.
According to Boulding and Lynch, Pratt recently completed a faculty cluster hire to target faculty engaged in sustainability, while Fuqua aims to be part of the energy sector’s financial market. They emphasized that Duke’s partnership with the Exchange is open to all students, not just exclusively to those in Fuqua and Pratt.
Boulding and Lynch stated that the University would “benefit from full-scale validation at the Climate Exchange site” and better create equitable climate solutions through partnerships with diverse stakeholders.
“A third of the world’s people live at sea level, most of them in our greatest cities. This is the right place and time for exploring urban climate change mitigation and training tomorrow’s workforce for climate change solutions,” they added.
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Andrew Bae is a Trinity sophomore and an associate news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.