There are other encouraging signs, Douglas says. A recent report
from the EDF predicted growth in sustainability-related jobs. In an article he wrote for Science
in his last days in office, President Obama emphasized the “irreversible momentum of clean energy
.” In the private sector, more than 760 companies and investors have signed the Business Backs Low-Carbon USA statement
pledging to do their part to uphold the Paris Agreement.
“Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I know that the important work our students and alumni do isn’t going away,” said Douglas. “It may move to different sectors and regional, state and local government, but it will not go away.”
In Washington, students found encouragement meeting with environmental leaders.
“For me, the most impressive visit was at the FAO [United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization], where we actually met with the director for North America,” said Parfait Gasana
, ’18 M.E.M. “This showed how important he felt this event was; he didn’t send a deputy, he spent an hour talking to us, he said there was room for students like us.”
During the World Bank visit, Jessica Leung
’17 M.E.M. ran into an F&ES alum working in their climate change group. “And over a platter of pot stickers I picked her brain for some insight into their work culture and ways to get into the organization,” she said.