Based at Princeton University, the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) is an independent academic research program sponsored by BP and administered by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI). CMI is Princeton’s largest and most long-term industry-university relationship. Established in 2000, the mission of CMI is to lead the way to a compelling and sustainable solution to the carbon and climate change problem.
CMI currently includes 15 lead faculty investigators and over 50 research staff and students. The program brings together scientists, engineers, and policy experts to investigate the dual challenge of supplying the energy that the world needs without emitting greenhouse gases that change the climate. Since its inception, CMI has been committed to the dissemination of its research findings so they may benefit the larger scientific community, government, industry, and the general public.
One of the unique characteristics of CMI is that it continually readjusts its programming based upon new scientific discoveries, technological advances, and changing political landscapes. Over the past few years, CMI commenced several new initiatives, the most recent of which are the Net-Zero America project, the Soil Carbon project, and the Methane project.
Net-Zero America Project and Modeling of the Global Carbon Cycle and Terrestrial Biosphere: Realizing net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States requires serious efforts based on realistic, real-world assessments. The Net-Zero America project aims to provide policy makers with the necessary analyses to pursue net-zero goals including estimates of plant and infrastructure buildouts along with an assessment of impacts on industries, communities, existing infrastructure and the natural environment.
Understanding the Soil Carbon Sink: To understand the complicated role stored carbon plays in global climate, a team of CMI researchers is investigating the role clay minerals play in storing carbon and how this carbon might be released. The team is also researching how moisture affects organic carbon decomposition, soil-carbon residence time, and carbon capture by rock weathering. Understanding these processes is a key component to the implementation of emissions cuts required by the Paris Climate accords.
The CMI Methane Project: Methane (CH4) is the second most important anthropogenic climate forcer after carbon dioxide. Determining the importance and mechanisms of different methane sources and sinks across temporal and spatial scales remains a fundamental challenge for the scientific community. A team of CMI researchers is undertaking three complementary research projects to address critical unknowns in methane cycling.
Ongoing Research Focus
- how global warming and anthropogenic activities are impacting the concentration of oxygen in the world’s oceans;
- how climate and volcanic eruptions are changing cyclone activity;
- understanding carbon storage in terrestrial vegetation under climate change;
- how agricultural irrigation and tropical forests influence worldwide climate change;
- measuring anthropogenic methane emissions associated with the oil and gas industry; and
- optimizing clay-based sustainable cements in order to reduce carbon emissions.
To learn about CMI’s sponsor, check our Sponsor page.
For all open positions within CMI, check our Employment Opportunities page.
You may contact us by using the form in our Contact Us page.