Pacific ALLIES conducts outreach in Washington D.C., by Simon Weiss (A24)

by VManve
Aug 08
On June 1, 2022,  I arrived in Washington D.C. to participate in Pacific ALLIES, flying past all the monuments to land at the Reagan airport. My first two weeks in the national capital have been filled with a large array of meetings, outreach events, and learning about international relations and climate change. In D.C. I have been working with a researcher at the University of Hawaii, Dr. Gregg Nakano, to conduct reconnaissance of climate change organizations to build connections for the Marshallese and find valuable partners for future research.
During my first week I met with researchers from Resources for the Future, a climate-economist think tank in DC, where we discussed the importance of building interdisciplinary research connections around the climate sphere and some of the challenges faced by organizations researching climate change. A renewed emphasis has been placed on funding climate research, but mostly concerning mitigation efforts of greenhouse gas emissions in OECD countries, with fewer efforts being devoted to adaptation efforts in countries on the front lines of the effects of climate change.
In the second week, I met with officials at the U.S. Department of State to discuss collaboration opportunities between our work in the Marshall Islands and the U.S. interests in climate change. The Biden administration has significantly increased the energy devoted to climate change research and it was fascinating to learn about the ways that the State Department collaborates with a wide range of actors to facilitate government directives.
In the next week, I will be conducting more interviews with organizations in DC and capping off the week by presenting findings to a focus group at the Stimson Center.