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Stony Brook University Selected as Finalist for Historic Governors Island Center for Climate Solutions

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Stony Brook University has been named a finalist for the historic Governors Island Center for Climate Solutions. Stony Brook is under consideration by the City of New York and the Trust for Governors Island to become the anchor institution that will reimagine Governors Island, creating a global hub for climate science research and innovation.

If selected from among three other institutions, Stony Brook will build the New York Climate Exchange — an ambitious new marketplace for investment and collaboration around solving the climate crisis. Featuring an innovative campus dedicated to sustainability and climate justice, the Exchange will generate transformative environmental, economic, technical, and social solutions without leaving any community behind.

“We are extremely excited to continue to be in the running for tackling one of the most urgent causes of our time, the climate crisis. We thank the Trust for Governors Island for recognizing Stony Brook University as a finalist,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis after the December 22 announcement. “Looking forward, we hope to be able to put our longstanding commitment, expertise, strength and unparalleled research capabilities to work to benefit our community, our region, our country and our planet through Governors Island’s transformational initiative … The New York Climate Exchange.”

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Aerial view of New York harbor with Manhattan and Governors Island in the foreground.

Key elements of The New York Climate Exchange include:

  • An engaging and interactive living laboratory with 335,000 square feet of green designed building space, including research labs, classroom space, exhibits, greenhouses, mitigation technologies, and housing facilities.
  • A Research and Technology Accelerator that will source and nurture ideas, projects, and new ventures dedicated to solving the climate crisis.
  • Green jobs training, doubling the number of green job trainees from 16,000 to 32,000 within ten years.
  • Partnerships and collaborative grant opportunities with community-based organizations already working to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
  • A Citizens Advisory Council, composed of key local stakeholders to ensure that partners’ and neighbors’ voices are heard and amplified as we jointly develop and implement new climate solutions, including those of low-income communities of color.
  • A self-sufficient community that goes “beyond zero” toward net positive sustainability.
  • Academic programs that prepare students at every level for careers focused on climate change solutions and environmental justice with hands-on learning, including a semester “abroad” on Governors Island, fellowship and internship programs, and continuing education.

Stony Brook is one of four university-led teams competing for the right to be the anchor institution for a new center for climate change and resiliency research on the 172-acre island. The other three finalists for the project are teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and a group co-led by CUNY and The New School.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust for Governors Island made the announcement, noting the finalists will respond to a com­pet­i­tive Request for Pro­pos­als process to be launched in Spring 2022, where they will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to fur­ther refine their pro­gram and design.

“Gov­er­nors Island is a jew­el of our har­bor, and today we’re tak­ing an impor­tant step toward trans­form­ing it into the nerve cen­ter for our city’s fight against cli­mate change,” deBlasio said. ​“These final­ists have sub­mit­ted thought­ful, bold pro­pos­als to lead that mis­sion. We look for­ward to hear­ing more from them as we find the per­fect part­ner to make New York City an inter­na­tion­al leader in solv­ing the planet’s most exis­ten­tial challenge.”

Alongside Stony Brook University, the New York Climate Exchange’s founding partners include Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Oxford and University of Washington. Additional academic partners include Columbia University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Tokyo, SUNY Maritime College and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Stony Brook has invested in partnerships with more than 20 local organizations and unions including We Act for Environmental Justice, Good Old Lower East Side, 32BJ, New York City Employment and Training Coalition, the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, the Museum of the City of New York, and more.

Read the full Stony Brook university press release.


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