State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Meet Siddharth Dasgupta From the Climate and Society Class of 2023

Siddharth Dasgupta
Siddharth Dasgupta joins the MA in Climate and Society program this fall. During his time at Columbia, he is looking forward to connecting climate theory and research with practical solutions to effect change.

This fall, the Columbia Climate School welcomes a new class of students into the M.A. in Climate and Society program. The 12-month interdisciplinary program trains students to understand and address the impacts of climate change and climate variability on society and the environment.

The incoming Class of 2023 includes 80 students with diverse backgrounds and career paths, impressive skillsets, and big plans to help people and the environment.

State of the Planet will be featuring interviews with several of these extraordinary students over the coming weeks. In the Q&A below, you can meet Siddharth Dasgupta, who was drawn to the program’s interdisciplinary nature. He aims to connect theory and complex research with practical solutions.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in studying climate? 

Being an engineer and MBA, I have worked with the World Bank, UN, UK government and most recently have been leading global strategy for the World Bank Group at EY. In the last 14 years I have helped governments across 80 countries shape their policies.

My perception of climate and sustainability solutions has evolved substantially over the last 14 years through my work as a global consultant across a spectrum of climate and environment initiatives — such as climate finance, low carbon growth strategies/technologies, climate change, e-mobility, air quality, sustainable urban cities, product design and evaluation, and policy/regulatory issues.

As a young recruit at the UK’s Department for International Development, I gained an understanding of ESG assessments under the guidance of Lord Nicholas Stern. Since then I have contributed to more than 25 ESG assessments in 19 middle- and low-income countries, acquiring the skills to present complex results to influence policy decisions.

In the years following my work with Lord Stein, I’ve kept in mind his view that “Science and policy-making thrive on challenge and questioning; they are vital to the health of inquiry and democracy.”

In my professional life, I have focused on solving some of the biggest existential climate challenges the world is facing today. I thrive in a research environment where I am focused towards addressing urgent problems whilst providing evidence-based research solutions for effective policy making.

What drew you to the Climate and Society program specifically? 

Columbia Climate School is a unique and ideal place for me to pursue my career goals as my understanding of energy and environmental policy is greatly influenced by the Earth Institute and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Columbia has world-renowned faculty, excellent resources, a collaborative and an interdisciplinary approach to natural science, policy, and technology, as well as academic autonomy, making it a top choice for me.

What are you most excited to learn about while you’re here?

Columbia’s 12-month interdisciplinary MA in Climate and Society is a near perfect combination of pertinent curriculum led by seasoned practitioners such as Dr. Ting and Dr. Orlove. I strongly believe this program will provide me with the insights and exposure needed for the research I intend to pursue after the program regarding the universal provision of reliable energy while minimizing negative impacts on the environment and human wellbeing.

How does the program align with your career goals?

In my current work I translate research into actionable strategies. I’ve found myself at the intersection of policy and technology, and where assumption meets application. I have executed several projects, including but not limited to policy measures identification, investment assessment for carbon neutrality, socio-economic assessment and gender studies, techno-commercial assessment of projects, and understanding of institutional and regulatory frameworks and a strong track record of delivering projects related to climate change and climate resilience across both the public and private sector.

The opportunity to discover and develop concepts through the process of learning and investigation truly motivates me to pursue the MA in Climate and Society. Whilst I have a strong interest in each individual subject, it is the connections between these disciplines that fascinate me most greatly. I strongly believe that the people who can connect theory and complex research with practical solutions are those who effect great change, and it is these people I seek to emulate. The MA will help me reach my career goals, both short and long-term.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

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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1 year ago

All the best, Siddharth!

Hippity Hoo Blah
Hippity Hoo Blah
Reply to  Arushi
7 months ago

Yes, Arushi. I am agree.

Karnum Malleshwari
Karnum Malleshwari
Reply to  Hippity Hoo Blah
7 months ago

Yes, very interested points and I am too agree.

Hudson Harlem
Hudson Harlem
Reply to  Karnum Malleshwari
7 months ago

Enriched discussion that leads to nutrient dense perspectives. Very good.