Crafting a Plan to Meet California’s Carbon Neutral Goals | Shereen D’Souza (Honduras)



Shereen D’Souza (Honduras 2001-04)

Shereen D’Souza’s (Honduras 2001-04) path to becoming an environmental leader began when she joined the Peace Corps straight out of college and was assigned to help hillside subsistence farmers in Honduras. D’Souza ’12 MESc went on to tackle urban food justice in Oakland, California, and agricultural issues in her ancestral home in India.

Her interest in international work led her to YSE, where she was impressed by Michael Dove, Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology, whose work focuses on environmental relations of local communities in South and Southeast Asia. After graduating from YSE, D’Souza served in the U.S. Department of State as an adaptation and loss and damage negotiator, where she was engaged in the process that ultimately resulted in the Paris Agreement and its adoption.

D’Souza is now deputy secretary for climate policy and intergovernmental relations with the California EPA. She is working with the team at the California Air Resources Board to wrap up the planning process to make the state carbon neutral by 2045. Dubbed the 2022 Scoping Plan, it will become the official playbook for making the goal a reality.

“This is an actual, actionable plan for carbon neutrality for the world’s fifth largest economy,”  D’Souza says. “Other governments are going to pick up on what we’re doing.”

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