ECO Newsletter: Week of February 19, 2018

Hi all,

We hope your February is going swimmingly. In the “news that isn’t news” category, we have the revelation that the world is on track to get hotter! We may have to kiss our 1.5˚C (2.7˚F) warming dream goodbye. In the “news that is awesome news” category, on the other hand, we have the prospect of using blockchain to avoid child labor in cobalt mines. Glass half empty? Half full? A myriad of glasses, all of varying fullness? Depends on your perspective, we suppose. Have a great week!







This course was recently announced to perform field work in Israel and Jordan. Having gone on the recent Environmental Delegation to Israel, we here at ECO can say with certainty that needs abound for sustainable cooperative environmental policy in the region. Consider it!

NECR PS5260. Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East with Dr. Joshua Fisher. 3 pts.
Travel Dates
: June 30 – July 14
Preparatory Sessions: June 11, 13, 14 (9am – 5pm)
Apply by: March 9 at 11:59PM

This course will provide a fieldwork opportunity for students to learn about: the ways in which natural resource and environmental issues span geographical boundaries; how political conflicts may create, sustain and escalate these problems; and the role the environment can play in future negotiations toward constructive, peaceful and sustainable outcomes. The program will focus on areas within Jordan and Israel, and to some extent the Palestinian Authority and the “Seam Zone” between these bounded areas. Students will experience firsthand the social and political challenges facing the policymakers and environmental scientists who seek to address these issues.

Currently, there is limited cooperation in the Middle East on environmental issues and joint management of shared natural resources. The trans-boundary nature of the environmental problems in the region suggests that a joint, integrated approach to resource management is critically needed and may serve as the common ground for achieving sustainable peace.



CGEP: Student Townhall With The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m

Location: Faculty House, Presidential Room 2

Like many nations around the world grappling with climate change and threats to the natural environment and public health, Canada is taking action to address these challenges, including ratification of the Paris Agreement and a pledge to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by thirty percent in 2030 from 2005 levels. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a national carbon pricing plan among other policies, at the same time that the government is making strategic investments to sustain the country’s transition to a clean-growth economy. Please join CGEP for a conversation with the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Minister McKenna will offer brief remarks focused on Canada’s work in climate change, but most of the time will be devoted to answering students’ questions.

Student ID required for entry into this event. Register here.

Guests unable to attend can view a livestream of the event at


For more information contact:
A podcast of this event will be available ~7 days after the date of the event through iTunes and our website.


GreenHome NYC Monthly Forum: How to be Cool and Efficient


Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m

Location: Fujitsu Airstage, 1450 Broadway, 42nd floor


As air conditioning is increasingly considered to be a required amenity in both residential and commercial settings, even as concern about global warming and greenhouse gasses has grown, this forum will discuss the key air conditioning system types and their related energy efficiency. We will also discuss some design issues, troubleshooting installation problems and, finally focus on the need for expanded technician education and training.

Forum Agenda:

System Types and Relative Energy Efficiency 

Brendan Casey, Fujitsu General America
Brendan will provide a brief overview of system types and focus on the fundamentals of Variable Refrigerant Flow technology and how these systems can be installed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Design and Installation Issues 

Michael Hlinka, Lightning Mechanical
Michael will provide an overview of design and installation issues that he faces and how problematic installations are identified and resolved.

Education and Training and Gaps in the Field 

Craig Gallagher, Lightning Mechanical
Craig will provide an overview of the training and that his employees receive and speak about the education and training gaps that exist in the HVAC design and installation industry.



Panel Discussion: “Sustainable Fashion: A Brand New Bag”

Baruch College, Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity


Date:  February 21, 2018

Time:  6:00 – 8:00pm

Location:  Baruch College l Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity –  151 E. 25th Street, Room 750 (between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)

Moderator: Debera Johnson, Executive Director, Pratt/Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator; Executive Director, Pratt/Center for Sustainable Design Strategies


  • Kate Daly, Executive Director, Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners
  • Meghan Ryan, Manager, Advisory Services, BSR
  • Megan Meiklejohn, Sustainable Materials & Transparency Manager, Eileen Fisher
  • Maxine Bedat, Tara St. James, Founder, Study New York


Topic:  ‘Sustainable Fashion: A Brand New Bag’

Sustainable fashion — the alternative to fast fashion — compels us to rethink the way we buy and sell our clothes. Falling under the umbrella, or may we say parasol of sustainable design, this ethos emphasizes the environmental and social impact of how we choose to dress and furthermore, how these choices are inextricably linked to the present and future well-being of our planet and civil society. The current global clothing supply chain touches all aspects of sourcing, producing and manufacturing, often resulting in multi-national corporations which employ methods that drive prices down but fail to reflect the true costs on society. Now eco-conscious players like Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney, and Patagonia, are disrupting the fashion market to provide sustainable alternatives — garments with a longer lifespan and a smaller carbon footprint that minimize environmental impact.


Please join our panel of experts to explore how we can support the emergence of sustainable fashion as a stronger sub-sector within the industry.



CSFPN:”Networking Nuances” with Ellis Chase

Date: Friday, February 23, 2018

Time: 9:00–10:00 a.m

Location: Lerner Hall, Jed Satow Conference Room

Columbia Sustainable Finance Professional Network (CSFPN) is delighted to have Ellis Chase, renowned career management consultant for an interactive workshop on “Networking Nuances”. Ellis will cover successful career development strategies including networking techniques that work, follow-ups, informational interviews, etc. All students from Columbia University welcome, this is not related to finance only.

Buy tickets at this link at $10 until February 22nd, 11:59 PM. This workshop is highly subsidized by CSFPN – don’t miss this opportunity!

Register here.



Women in Energy Lunch and Roundtable Session

Date: Monday, February 26, 2018

Time: 12:00–1:30 p.m

Location: CGEP (1255 Amsterdam Avenue)

Please join the Center on Global Energy Policy for a Women in Energy lunch and roundtable discussion with Marlene Motyka, US and Global Renewable Energy Leader and Principal at Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP. Ms. Motyka will discuss her job history, career paths, and perspectives on what it means to be a female leader in the energy industry.

This event is only open to current female grad students. Since space is limited, RSVPs will be accepted on a first-come basis until capacity is reached. Please only RSVP if you can commit to attending. Lunch will be provided. For more information contact:

RSVP here.


Women in Sustainability: Navigating Your Career

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m

Location: Faculty House, Presidential Room 2

This event focuses on how women navigate careers in sustainability, exploring the female perspective on professional development and advancement in this growing field. The panel features an impressive group of women working in diverse sustainability roles, including sustainable finance, corporate sustainability, and green building. The panelists will speak to some of the specific challenges and opportunities for women in this field, as well as to some of the universal challenges that many professional women face today – such as finding mentors, managing family responsibilities, dealing with bias, and more. The discussion explores the challenges and solutions for women at all levels of their careers. The panel will also provide insight into leadership behaviors and practices that help support career growth. The goal of this event is to foster a thoughtful dialogue around the issues facing women sustainability professionals, and how to achieve a more inclusive working environment in sustainability.

A networking reception will follow the panel, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

Register here.



New York State Environmental Law Year in Review

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 8:30 – 10 a.m. 
New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th St., NY, NY
There is no fee for this event; please register here.

Leading practitioners, regulators, and professors from New York City and Albany will review the past year’s most significant developments in New York State environmental law. Featured topics will include: pipeline litigation, onshore and offshore energy initiatives, VW settlement, recent revisions to 6 NYCRR Part 360 (solid waste), SEQRA developments, forest preserve issues, recent activities in the state legislature, major court decisions in environmental law, and more.

Thomas Berkman, General Counsel, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Donna DeCostanzo, Senior Attorney and Director, Northeast Energy and Sustainable Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council
Scott Fein, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP
Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Philip Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, St. John’s University School of Law

Amy Turner, Turner Legal PLLC & NYC Climate Action Alliance

Kevin Healy, Partner, Bryan Cave


Energy, Economics, and Geopolitics in the Gulf Arab States

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018

Time: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m

Location: Low Library

Global energy markets are experiencing a period of dramatic change. Markets have experienced several years of abrupt price drops and recoveries. New producers and new technologies are exerting price pressure in oil and gas markets. Some are even debating the future of demand for oil, the most ubiquitous fuel. Even in this time of change, however, no region remains more important for the global energy scene than the Middle East, and the influence of the Gulf Arab States remains extremely high. In order to understand current trends in energy markets, and their implications for economies and geopolitical relations of the Gulf states, the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a discussion with an outstanding panel of leading decision-makers and analysts:

  • Matar Al Neyadi, Under Secretary, UAE Ministry of Energy
  • Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science
  • Helima Croft, Managing Director and Global Head of Commodity Strategy, RBC Capital Markets
  • Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies & Director, Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, Princeton University
  • Nabil Al-Khowaiter, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Energy

Register here.


2018 Climate Change Symposium

Hosted by the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law 

Date: Tuesday, March 6th

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Columbia Law School, Rm. 103 Jerome Greene Hall


Two New York CLE credits available

Registration Requested

(required for CLE credit)


The symposium will feature the following presentations:


Linking Across Borders: Opportunities and Obstacles for a Joint Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-Western Climate Initiative Market by Augusta Wilson

Comments by Professor Bruce Usher of Columbia Business School


To Negotiate a Carbon Tax: A Rough Map of Interactions, Tradeoffs, and Risks by Justin Gundlach

Comments by Professor Gregg Macey of Brooklyn Law School


More information here



Sustainability Coordinator – Verdani Partners (Carlsbad, CA)

We are looking for a sustainability coordinator who will help aid Verdani Partners with incorporating corporate sustainability programs and policies for each of our clients. They will directly help our President and Directors of Sustainability in implementing policies in organizations with diversified, national and international portfolios of buildings. This full-time position will begin with an intense 3-6 month training period. The candidate must be willing to work onsite at our Carlsbad office. Preference will be given to candidates that have some educational training and experience with commercial real estate and/or corporate sustainability.

This applicant would coordinate directly with the clients; therefore, they must also have superior communication, writing and presentation skills. This is an entry level position that will require a training course which Verdani Partners will be providing.



*Bachelor’s Degree, Majors: Architecture, Environmental Studies, Engineering, Business Admin


*Master’s Degree

*LEED Green Associate or LEED Accredited Professional – EBOM, EIT



*Excellent written and oral communication skills, as well as graphic communication skills

*Ability to adapt to meet the needs of clients and the company

*Experience with general office software applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

*Interest in becoming an expert in corporate sustainability

*Ability to learn on the job


*Commercial Real Estate Experience

*Corporate Sustainability Experience

*Energy Star Portfolio Manager

*LEED Existing Buildings Operation & Maintenance



Scott Belding (

SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) Communications Director

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