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Natural Resources Defense Council


Jake Schmidt's Blog



I'm the international climate policy director at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  I recently joined NRDC, after eight years at the Center for Clean Air Policy where I was director of international programs. Over that timeframe I was involved in climate policy development at various levels--state, US national, Europe, developing countries, and international negotiations. I've been helping to shape the framework of the international post-2012 response to climate change working with senior international climate negotiators from key developed and developing countries and policymakers in Europe, China, India, Brazil, and Mexico.

I'm now taking that experience and using it at NRDC to help develop the post-2012 international response to climate change and the actions in key regions of the world to deliver on that agreement.

Roots in:
Spokane, Washington
Favorite place:
Home with my wife, son, and daughter—best if combined with the outdoors and even better if mountains and the ocean aren’t too far away.
Why "environmentalism" matters:
People used to ask me at gatherings what I did and I would say: “work on climate change policy”. This usually was followed by a confused look and sometimes a question about: what does work on policy mean or what is climate change? It still takes explanation on the first—working on policy—but the second—what is climate change—definitely comes up a lot less than it used to. So why do I work on something that can’t be explained in one word (or one sentence) at a gathering? My son likes to say: “daddy go to work, make money” (he is too young to know what I actually do). I work on climate change because I think we have an obligation to ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren to save this planet from ourselves. When I look at my two children and think about their future, I have a face to who I’m working for. And I know there are a lot more faces like theirs that I’m working for as well. So, I hope that when my son and daughter go to gatherings in the future and the topic of climate policy comes up, they can talk about the great progress that has been made and how the world is on pace to solve this paramount challenge.

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