State of the Planet

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Apply Now: Fall 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 September 15 for internship positions for the fall 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.

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 & Energy; Sustainable Investments in Land, Agriculture & Food Systems; and Sustainable International Investment Law & 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. Candidates must currently be enrolled in a degree program, and only students currently enrolled at Columbia University are eligible for paid positions.

To apply for a fall 2022 internship, please send a cover letter, CV, and writing sample, (all together in a single file, in that order), by September 15 to CCSI’s executive coordinator, Nancy Siporin (, unless otherwise specified. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please indicate whether or not you are work-study eligible, which is 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.

Fall 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 / 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, COMET is seeking to harmonize 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 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.

Paid internship: Translation of French documents into English (and vice-versa)

CCSI is looking for bilingual students with professional translation capabilities to translate documents from English to French and vice versa. Undergraduate or graduate students will be accepted. An understanding of tax-related issues and concepts is a plus. Time commitment is about 80 -100 hours total during the summer and beginning of fall; Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Paid internship: Arabic-speaking researcher on sustainable finance

CCSI seeks a law or policy graduate student (or a motivated and high-performing undergraduate student) to support the center’s research and advisory work related to sustainable finance. In particular, the research will support an analysis of the alignment of islamic finance with ‘ESG investing,’ and other selected sustainable finance frameworks. The researcher will also support broader research on how investments or projects might be assessed, selected, and shaped to align with the sustainable development goals, and the tools available to governments to support such policies. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff and CCSI’s director on research, analysis, and event organizing. Knowledge of sustainable finance is strongly preferred. Speaking and reading in Arabic is necessary for this work.

Paid internship: Online course (MOOC) on mining and the energy transition

The Paris Climate Agreement and 17 Sustainable Development Goals outline a global consensus on the interlinked needs to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. Mining is at the heart of the sustainable development challenge — through the materials produced for the new energy systems and an increased digital economy, the challenge of decarbonizing mineral supply chains and infrastructure, and through company payments in taxes and royalties that will finance key public investments. CCSI plans to create an eight-week massive open online course (MOOC) on “Mining and the Sustainable Development Transformations.” The course seeks to build awareness, understanding, and relevant technical capacity among a wide range of stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges for the mining sector, at the heart of the sustainable development transformations. Selected student interns will provide critical support to all aspects of production from content elaboration, liaising with the production team, curating readings, and preparing quizzes. The ideal candidate will have an interest in natural resource management and sustainable development. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in online education platforms (though not required).

Paid internship: Responsible and rights-respecting land investments (native French speaker)

CCSI seeks a JD, LLM, or other graduate student with native or extremely fluent written and verbal French to support the center’s research and advisory work on responsible and rights-respecting land-based investments. The internship will involve working closely with senior staff on priority projects requiring research, analysis, partner liaison, and writing. These projects may include contributing to our technical support collaborations with civil society or government, with a focus on francophone African countries on topics such as land rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, community development agreements, and investment approval processes. Preference will be given to candidates with strong research and writing skills. Knowledge or experience of issues relating to responsible land-based investment, land rights, government policymaking related to investments, and/or community rights in the context of resource investments is desirable.

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. 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. (

Additional internships may be added, so please do continue to check the CCSI website. There you can also find more information about internship opportunities and how to apply.

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