Lecturer on Law Emily Broad Leib, the director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic,  was awarded a research grant in the inaugural year of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund. Broad Leib’s project, “Reducing Food Waste as a Key to Addressing Climate Change,” was one of seven chosen to confront the challenge of climate change using the levers of law, policy, and economics, as well as public health and science.

Last year, Faust announced the creation of the $20 million Climate Change Solutions Fund in order to hasten the transition from carbon-based energy systems to those that rely on renewable energy sources, and to propel innovations needed to accelerate progress toward cleaner energy and a greener world. The inaugural round of awardees reflects the University’s longstanding commitment to supporting collaborative solutions to the climate challenge across a wide range of disciplines.

“Climate change poses a serious threat to the future of our planet,” Faust said. “Universities have a critical role to play in generating innovations that will lead the transition to clean, affordable, and renewable energy sources, and Harvard is committed to advancing such efforts as we continue to serve as a model of sustainability for institutions around the world.”

Read full story on the seven winners and their projects in the Harvard Gazette.

Forty percent of food produced in the United States goes uneaten, according to Broad Leib. She and her team will use their award to continue addressing the global problem of food waste. The HLS team is identifying key legal and policy levers to reduce the emissions associated with food waste by investigating, amending, and enacting new polices ― such as tax incentives and liability protection ― that remove the barriers to food donation. They will also continue to raise awareness of the billions of pounds of food wasted because of confusion from misleading food expiration-date labeling, an issue first brought to light in a 2013 report FLPC released with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“I’m thrilled that through this support we will have the opportunity to expand our work looking at creative ways that we can use law and policy changes to significantly reduce food waste and its harmful environmental impacts, while at the same time increasing food donations and improving food access,” Broad Leib said.