Climate Risk Solutions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, synthesizing scientific consensus, warned last year that to avoid high risk of widespread disasters, an unprecedented and highly rapid transition to a carbon-free economy is required. The necessary shift will have economic and distributional impacts at a global scale, both within and across countries.  Even if society achieves this ambitious goal, emissions from past decades will persist in the atmosphere causing continued physical risks to households, communities, and businesses in the near future and coming decades.

To offer the opportunity for more students to participate, the submission deadline is now April 15th. 

The top 10 graduate and top 10 undergraduate submissions will be featured on the website.

Over summer 2019, the Wharton Risk Center, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, the Penn Program on Regulation, and the Faculty Senate at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a virtual ideation session to generate new policy-relevant and solution-oriented ideas that focus on U.S. national, state, or local strategies for tackling one or more of three interrelated types of climate risk:

Mitigation: How do we reduce emissions rapidly to minimize the risks of catastrophic shifts in earth systems?

Adaptation: How do we reduce the risks of physical climate impacts to households, communities, and businesses?

Transition: How do we minimize the transition risks for businesses and communities as we shift to a carbon-free economy in the face of uncertainty?

Solutions to these risks are inherently interdisciplinary. The ideas outlined on this site came from researchers across schools and departments throughout the University of Pennsylvania.  New solutions were posted on a continuous basis throughout the summer.  Access the synthesis report here.

Do you have ideas for addressing climate challenges? We’d love to hear about things students can do, that Penn can do, or that our broader communities and our country can do! As we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a looming climate crisis, we  invite students from across the university (any school, department, or program) to submit their own solution-oriented ideas that focus on tackling climate change problems at any level or scale.

Submissions should be short and can draw on prior coursework or experiences. Please follow the format and style of those posted this past summer at  Submissions cannot exceed 1,000 words. A jury with representatives for The Wharton Risk Center and the Kleinman Center will judge the submissions.  The top 10 undergraduate submission and the top 10 graduate submissions as decided by the jury will be published on the website and widely distributed.  Criteria for judging includes being grounded in research, innovative, well-developed, and feasible.  Feel free to include “next steps” needed to get your solution off the ground.

Although the challenge of addressing climate change can be daunting, with risks of potentially costly impacts affecting all sectors of the economy, we seek solutions to showcase forward change is possible everywhere. The solutions can span the local to the global, the household to the federal government.  Please share your ideas with us!

Please submit your solution to Zoë Linder-Baptie, (, by April 15th, 2020.