State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Spring 2022 Internships With the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, is accepting applications until January 15, 2022 for internship positions for the Spring 2022 semester. (Internships can be done remotely.) Interns are staffed to one or more specific research projects depending on the background and interests of the particular applicant. Select work-study administrative positions are also available, and course credit can be granted in some cases.

CCSI is a leading applied research center and forum dedicated to the study, practice and discussion of sustainable international investment. Our mission is to develop and disseminate practical approaches and solutions to maximize the impact of international investment for sustainable development. The center’s work is organized around three major areas of research: sustainable investments in mining and energy; sustainable investments in land, agriculture and food systems; and sustainable international investment law and policy, with cross-cutting research related to climate change, human rights, the energy transition, and business and finance.

Candidates must commit to at least 10-15 hours per week, unless otherwise noted. Continuation into subsequent terms is possible, and in some cases, preferred.

To apply for a Spring 2022 internship, please send a cover letter, CV, and writing sample, (all together in a single file, in that order), by January 15 to CCSI’s executive coordinator, Nancy Siporin (, unless otherwise specified. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please indicate if you are work-study eligible (preferred but not required). The cover letter should include a distinct list of which internships you are applying for (you may include as many as you’d like).

Spring 2022 internship opportunities are currently available for the following (remote possible):

Paid internship: Working on Greenhouse Gas / Carbon Accounting Methods for the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET) 

CCSI is seeking a highly motivated and detail-oriented SIPA, CBS, or Engineering school graduate student with strong knowledge and experience in greenhouse gas (GHG) / carbon accounting to support research and writing for the COMET initiative. A partnership between CCSI, the Payne Institute for Public Policy, RMI, and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change), COMET is seeking to harmonize GHG / carbon accounting methods across the material sector and their value chains. Currently, the lack of harmonization is blocking bolder climate action. The candidate must have demonstrated analytical skills as well as knowledge and experience in GHG / carbon accounting. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills, and with experience or demonstrated interest in issues relating to climate policy and extractive industries. Time commitment: At least 15 hours per week.

Paid internship: Rights-respecting Land Investments & the Private Sector

CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student (or a motivated and high-performing undergraduate student) to support the center’s research on responsible and rights-respecting land-based investments. The internship will involve working on priority projects requiring research, analysis, and writing. These projects may include engaging in horizon-scanning activities to understand the current landscape of private sector respect for human rights in the context of land-based investments, researching legislative initiatives to mandate corporate respect for human rights at home and abroad, and developing innovative resources for communities, governments, and/or the private sector actors (including financial institutions, investors, and companies). Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to the corporate responsibility to respect human rights (in particular, land rights and community rights) in the context of responsible land-based investment is desirable. French language fluency is also desirable, but not required.

Paid internship: Operations Assistant (work study)

CCSI is seeking an undergraduate or graduate work-study student to assist with a variety of substantive operational tasks. The work-study position primarily will entail helping with business and administrative tasks related to the operational functioning of the center, with an opportunity to specialize in one of several areas including business operations, editing, communications, events or workstream support, assisting one of the three CCSI workstreams in extractives; land, agriculture and food systems; or investment law and policy. Preference will be given to responsible, detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate students. Those with long-term availability are preferred. To apply for this operations assistant position, please send a cover letter and resume to CCSI’s director of operations, Paulo Cunha. (

For more information on internship opportunities and how to apply, please see the CCSI website.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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