The Energy and Environment concentration provides students with the analytical tools and substantive knowledge they need to address the key economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It equips them to pursue leadership careers in the fields of energy and the environment in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Prior to the fall of 2009, energy and environment education at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) consisted of two separate concentrations: International Energy Management and Policy and Environmental Policy Studies. In the fall of 2009, these concentrations were combined into one concentration with two separate tracks in order to concentrate and build upon shared resources, courses and faculty expertise.
While shortages of many finite natural resources such as water and food must be addressed to create a truly sustainable economy, no single resource issue is more problematic than the need for energy to power the developed and developing nations of the world. Because energy and the environment are intimately connected to society's productivity and sustainability, our ability to properly protect, develop and manage our natural assets requires well-trained leaders.
Energy and environmental leaders need a solid background in earth sciences, politics, management, economics, quantitative techniques, business, market and regulatory structures, and policy analysis. The Energy and Environment Concentration incorporates an interdisciplinary approach into the study of energy and environmental issues so its graduates are well-equipped to prove themselves as the leaders and policymakers of their generation.
The global economy imposes increasing requirements on energy and ecological systems. In the next quarter century alone, energy systems will require more than $20 trillion in investment. The associated energy use will challenge the sustainability of water, food, climate and ecosystems.
The International Energy Management and Policy (IEMP) track offers an integrated treatment of the structure and issues of energy business and policy development. The world faces oil market insecurity, worldwide restructuring of natural gas and electricity systems, massive energy infrastructure requirements for economic development, and the complex local and global environmental implications of energy production and use. The required investment will come, overwhelmingly, from private foreign and domestic debt and capital markets. Business, market and regulatory structures are required to make such investment financially feasible. To contribute in this field, the energy policy professional must understand its technologies, economics, institutions and quantitative methodologies.
The IEMP track provides a thorough understanding of energy industry fundamentals, including the structure and operation of international energy systems and business organizations, as well as the markets and governance structures involved in producing, transporting and marketing energy products. It examines economic, environmental and social policies applicable to energy production, transportation and consumption; political and strategic issues arising from the unequal distribution of global energy resources; and the impact of technological change on the future role of energy in the global economy.
Because environmental problems play an increasingly important role in policy debates at the local, national and international levels, Environment Policy and Management track graduates are positioned to pursue a variety of career options. There are opportunities to work as environmental professionals in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Local governments and private industries are devoting increased resources to environmental management. Development pressures and increased regulation of toxic materials require additional analysis and planning. Globalization and the pace of international commerce demand the consideration of environmental impacts across international borders. All of these trends frame the analytic work for the next cohort of environmental professionals.
The Environment Policy and Management track prepares students to become active leaders in any or all sectors of the economy. All Environment Policy and Management track students take Environment Science for Sustainable Development and participate in the Environmental Policy Studies Workshop. Students also select one environmental policy course and one environmental economics course.