Bonjour from Paris, France! I am working this summer for the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. UNEP’s DTIE promotes key initiatives and partnerships with governments, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations to encourage environmental sustainability and the efficient use of natural resources. A primary goal of sustainable consumption and production is to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, while promoting development in poor countries and supporting the attainment of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Specific focus areas and themes include Corporate Social Responsibility, Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production, Sustainable Product Design, Education and Capacity Building, Life Cycle and Resource Management, Safer Production, Sustainable Consumption, Eco-labeling and Sustainable Procurement. These efforts support a larger UNEP program launched in 2008 to transition toward long-term economic and environmental sustainable development—The Green Economy Initiative. This initiative seeks to assist governments in designing and implementing economically efficient green policies while promoting green jobs and economic growth across a range of sectors, including clean technology, renewable energy, water, transportation, waste management, green building and land use.
UNEP provides leadership and critical resources for caring for the environment and preserving its resources for future generations in a sustainable way. It is my goal to gain a better understanding of the processes and mechanisms behind the coordination and development of environmental policy for governments and the international community. Building on my background in the geological and atmospheric sciences, my MGPS specialization coursework in international energy, environment and technology will help prepare me for a career in global environmental policy. Finding solutions to some of our greatest environmental challenges, without compromising economic growth and development goals, will depend on international cooperation toward low-carbon societies and a transition to sustainable consumption and production patterns with the help of programs like the UN’s Green Economy Initiative.