Syracuse University part of team receiving $60 million USDA grant to promote climate-smart products

Syracuse University is a lead partner in a multi-university project that aims to increase supply and demand for climate-smart products produced and manufactured in New York State, supported by a new USDA Climate-Smart Products Partnership grant. The $60 million project is led by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Golden Jay

A climate-smart commodity is an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural, livestock or forestry practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon. As a project partner, Syracuse will lead one of four main focus areas. Over the next five years, Syracuse University researchers will develop and expand existing markets and develop new markets for climate-smart products produced in New York State to benefit the environment, farmers and manufacturing sectors.

“Governments and industry around the world are rapidly committing to a net-zero carbon economy, and in order to meet these grand challenges, industries today will need to find low-carbon alternatives and green technology where bio-based feedstocks and products play a critical role,” says Jay Golden, Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Finance at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and director of the Dynamic Sustainability Lab, who is the principal investigator of the project in Syracuse.

Syracuse’s interdisciplinary team, working in collaboration with Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, New York State agencies, and other public and private partners, includes faculty and student researchers from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, School of Information Studies, SI Newhouse School of Public Communications and Whitman School of Management. Additionally, the team will partner with Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad to develop a pipeline of new green technologies and climate-smart innovators, with a focus on developing new climate-smart businesses in underserved communities.

Syracuse University faculty include:

  • Principal Investigator: Jay Golden, Pontarelli Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Finance at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and Director of the Dynamic Sustainability Lab
  • Investigators:
    • Carmen Carrión-Flores, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Economics; Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research
    • Peter Wilcoxen, Ajello Professor in Energy and Environmental Policy; professor of public administration and international affairs; Director, Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
    • Lee McKnight, Associate Professor, School of Information Studies
    • Todd Moss, Chair, Entrepreneurship and Emerging Business Department and
      Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Whitman School
    • Jason Davis, Research Professor, Newhouse School; co-director, Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab
    • Regina Luttrell, Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activity; co-director, Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab; Associate Professor of Public Relations, Newhouse School
    • Erika Schneider, Assistant Professor of Public Relations, Newhouse School

“Our team in Syracuse will be at the global forefront of this effort by providing public and private decision makers the ability to track and verify low- and zero-carbon raw materials across the value chain; develop strong incentives and policies to support market demand; and to model environmental, climate, and economic/jobs benefits for New York and America,” Golden says. “The planned climate-smart commodities will serve as a platform for a new generation of low-carbon chemicals, fuels and power sources, as well as building and construction materials and a vast range of consumer products to support the transition to a net zero carbon economy”.

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