On a High Note: Stanford Launches New $1.1 Billion Climate School

Stanford Launches New $1.1 Billion Climate School

Stanford University announced last week that it will establish a climate school funded by a $1.1 billion donation from John Doerr, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. According to a statement by Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne: "The new school will build fundamental knowledge of the Earth and its systems, accelerate the development of solutions to the climate crisis at the scale that is needed, and educate tomorrow's problem solvers and changemakers in this urgent area.”

Doerr, whose gift was the second-largest ever to any University, emphasized the importance of the rapidly growing sustainability sector, calling it "the new computer science.” He added, "This is what the young people want to work on with their lives, for all the right reasons.”

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, as it will be called, is the latest climate school set to be launched by a major University but not the only one. In April 2020, Columbia University announced the founding of its climate school, marking the first school addition in 25 years.

The launch of these schools comes as the urgency to address climate change grows. Last month, atmospheric greenhouse gas levels continued to rise, despite calls for a global shift to clean energy. In 2021, carbon emissions reached their highest levels ever, rising by 6% compared to 2020.

CNBC: Stanford gets $1.1 billion to start climate science school, May 4, 2022.

Global Silicon Valley: John Doerr Speed & Scale | Moving Leaders to Act on the Climate Crisis on Stage X, April 12, 2022.

Bloomberg: Speed & Scale | John Doerr’s Plan to Save the Planet, November 10, 2021.

TED: How to decarbonize the grid and electrify everything | John Doerr and Hal Harvey, November 19, 2020.

BBC: UN scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit global warming, April 4, 2022.

CBS: Huge carbon emissions cuts needed, UN climate report finds, April 4, 2022.