On February 3, 2018, Tufts University celebrated the 13th annual Tufts Energy Conference (TEC). This year's theme, "Transforming Outlooks Into Realities" saw the gathering of over 200 energy professionals, scholars, students, and experts from a variety of sectors to discuss critical energy issues across the globe, particularly in light of the U.S. decision to withdrawal the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Centering around issues within the future of energy development, panelists convened to debate topics related to carbon dioxide emissions and the trend of carbon pricing, the impacts of climate change on coastal cities, emerging temporary solutions to carbon emissions within the sector of geoengineering technology, and the international investment in clean solutions and efforts to counteract climate change. Among many highlights across the two-day event, Friday's keynote speaker, Mark Boling, spoke emphatically about the necessity of decarbonization in the electric sector through innovative technology and energy solutions and panelist Jeff Goodell's (2016-2017 Fellow at the New America Foundation) thoughts about the dangers of not addressing climate change were both expressive and insightful.
The TEC Conference is run entirely by graduate and undergraduate students at Tufts University, with organization support from TIE. This year, students from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and the School of Arts and Sciences arranged for an especially timely conversation around the future of energy in the U.S. and worldwide and how individuals and organizations can help invest in the innovation of the sector. Stefan Koester, a co-chair of the 2018 Organizing Committee and TIE-SEI Fellow, offered some of the conclusions of this year's TEC conference: "In order to move forward, a healthy dose of both optimism and pragmatism is necessary to continue driving the domestic and international energy sector through the dramatic transition that is necessary in addressing climate change."
Taylor Parrish, TIE Graduate Intern