My Sustainability Research Lineup For Q1

I’m told it’s 2022 already (what! it’s FEBRUARY?), and I’m planning a major push to catch up on my climate change education.

Though I’ve been interested in environmental matters since childhood, I only started trying to stay informed about the climate space recently. I want to build a strong foundation from scratch and learn all the relevant concepts, news developments, and terminology.

Words and phrases like Paris Agreement, Green New Deal, and COP26 go by in the headlines, I do my best to keep up with the developments, but I also like to go deeper after the fact. Reading the original agreements and reports can be fun because:

A] It makes me feel cool.

B] I’m looking for opportunities to get involved, and I want to know what initiatives are likely to come down the pike.

C] I want the complete picture, not just the parts that get the most circulation.

Here is where I’m collecting the past research I’ve done related to climate change and sustainability.

I have a huge stack of reports I want to get through, all downloaded onto my tablet and ready to mark up, and newer reports keep coming out as soon as I’m about to catch up! So the next couple of months are going to be a big push.

How I’m Accelerating my Research Process

The main improvement I’m making is to plan out my research a bit more.

First I selected the documents I’d like to read.

  1. The UNEP Gap report, which was mentioned in a lot of the COP26 coverage I read. (If you are wondering what COP26 is, it was a UN meeting regarding climate change that occurred in November 2021. I wrote about it here.) It outlines how far short we are currently falling in meeting our climate targets.
  2. The initiatives that came out of COP26.
  3. The Taking Stock 2021 report, which assesses the outlook for US greenhouse gas emissions each year.
  4. An HBR article about supply chain transparency
  5. The 2015 Paris Agreement, which I read once, but haven’t written much about yet.
  6. The Green New Deal, a bill introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 – mostly as a history lesson, since it was not adopted.
  7. The US 2021 Aviation Climate Action Plan. Another document that came out of COP26.

I selected these because:

  • I want a big picture understanding of what precisely needs to be done. A part of that is understanding the current status.
  • I’m trying to give myself a crash course in the history of climate change policy. What did I miss?
  • I’m looking for tech roadmaps that speak to a coherent strategy on what needs to be developed. Then I (or you) can work on some of enabling initiatives and know we are moving the needle. The aviation action plan is the first sector-wide action plan I’ve seen. I hope to find similar plans for every sector.

As you can probably tell, I like to have a big picture understanding of things and start with an overview so I have all the information I need to make decisions. This preference also affects how I’m planning out this research project. 

The steps I’m going through are:

  • Skimming all the reports and summarizing their purpose. Also estimating how long each will take to read
  • Prioritizing the reports and scheduling out 25-minute sessions to read them.
  • Sharing the research dispatches on individual documents as I go. Some documents may need multiple summaries.

I’m not a naturally organized person, but I have been planning out my projects in Kanban boards out of necessity. My previous approach to research was to jump from obsession to obsession. So this new approach is an experiment.

More updates to come, and if you’re catching up on your climate change education too, I invite you to follow along!

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