Julia Lee Cunningham, team receive U-M Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program grant

March 9, 2021

U-M Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program awards $1.75M in grants to seven research projects

The Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute has awarded research grants to seven projects aimed at reducing net carbon emissions.

The multiyear program was created last year with a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor. The first round of funding, totaling $1.75 million, was awarded this week to projects that investigate groundbreaking energy-storage and carbon-capture technologies, innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions in agriculture, and new options for lowering the carbon footprint of U-M student diets.

Other funded projects are designed to promote equitable heat electrification and to influence perceptions around climate change and carbon neutrality-related issues.

“I congratulate the U-M researchers of the CNAP teams whose exciting projects apply multidisciplinary problem-solving to the challenge of climate change,” said U-M President Mark Schlissel. “The CNAP program is a tremendous example of what we can contribute as a comprehensive public research university, with the generosity of our donors supporting efforts that have enormous potential to help address an urgent societal problem.”

The seven projects were chosen from 37 proposals involving 105 U-M faculty and researchers. The funded projects are:

The Promise and Risks of Framing Climate Change as a Migration Issue

Could evoking empathy for the victims of climate change spur Americans across the political spectrum to act to reduce its causes? ($137,000)

This research team will build upon its past work to explore different framings of climate migration, seeking framings that will translate into support for low-carbon policies. The researchers hope to create a set of best practices for journalists, policymakers and climate advocates to present this vital aspect of climate change.

Kaitlin Raimi, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (PI); Julia Lee Cunningham, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Nathaniel Geiger and Melanie Sarge, Indiana University; Ash Gillis, Pennsylvania State University.

Read about the other research projects.

“We are grateful to the donors and thrilled to be in a position to support faculty across U-M as they blaze much-needed trails to carbon neutrality,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, Graham Family Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute and co-chair of the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality. “We expect these projects will have a major impact, both on future research and in real-world applications.”

This story was originally published by Michigan News.