Projects, Meetings, and Breakfast Briefings

It has been a challenging couple of weeks. The honeymoon seems to be over, and now I am in the thick of my assignments for the summer. There is always a diversity in my assignments which has kept things fresh. New projects steadily enter my workstream as I complete tasks, and the work always has a unique flavor.

My projects primarily consist of legal research for various international environmental challenges. High-level issues like the social cost of carbon, essential use exemptions under the law, and the concept of a right to a healthy environment – super interesting stuff.

Alongside these research projects, one of my responsibilities is to provide coverage for various online events and webinars. Discussions about things like sustainability standards, microplastics, developments in international trade, and ongoing discussions for international environmental policy. Working for an organization with global partners presents unique challenges that you may not think of until you work around them yourself. This past week I became familiar with one of the more ubiquitous obstacles when dealing with international partners, and that is working with people in different time zones.

This past week, I provided coverage for a breakfast briefing presented by some of our partners in Brussels on the ongoing discussions for implementing the European Green Deal, which is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. This meeting was scheduled for 9:00 AM Brussels time, which was held at 3:00 AM for me in Virginia. Needless to say, I was a little groggy for this discussion.

Thank goodness for coffee. I woke up at 2:45, made myself a nice cup of Joe, took tedious notes, and back to bed for me. Events like these certainly helped me appreciate some of the many obstacles that international organizations must workaround to have meaningful discussions and help solve complicated global issues. Moving forward, I will keep in mind the effort required to stay engaged and informed by our global partners and hopefully accommodate their schedules.

Until next time.