AMPLIFY Environmental Policy Scholarship

Funded by
Steph Smith
Learn more about the Donor
$500
1 winner
Awarded
Winner
1
Finalists
8
Application Deadline
Sep 15, 2021
Winners Announced
Sep 30, 2021
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate

We only have one planet.

With the climate crisis becoming progressively worse, the solutions will come from a mix of innovation and policy change -- both of which will be continuous uphill battles for the world to navigate.

Policy will be an essential part of this delicate equation, especially considering the global nature of the issue and that an overwhelming majority of emissions come from a small subset of corporations.

This scholarship is here to support students that are either studying or planning to study environmental policy. In order to qualify for this scholarship, please write a short 500-word essay on how you think environmental policy will evolve over the coming years.

This scholarship is part of a 12-part, AMPLIFY Scholarship Series, spanning topics including women in tech, continuous learning, environmental science, and more. These scholarships are announced quarterly and awarded monthly throughout 2021. Follow along here!

Environment
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Ambition, Impact, Environmental Policy
Essay Topic

What are you currently studying or do you hope to study that relates to environmental policy? What are some innovative policy changes that you think could help curb the climate crisis? Please be as specific as possible!



400–600 words

Winning Application

Abigail Simpson
Western Michigan UniversityKalamazoo, MI
I am currently a senior at Western Michigan University double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Studies & Sustainability. I transferred to Western after completing my Associate in Science at my local community college. Throughout the duration of my associate degree, I struggled finding passion and a vision for my future career path. One of my last three classes of my degree included "environmental science". This class inspired me beyond belief, and I knew I had to make change in my personal life and educate people on detrimental issues like climate change, pollution, and the policies surrounding such topics. At first glance, climate change and pollution seemed like a simple fix. Reduce carbon emissions, convert to green energy, reduce consumption, steer away from plastic, and create eco-centered policies. The more I learned and peeled back the layers of history and policies, the more I realized how complex environmental policy is. Each party of government has their own agenda they wish to complete. Corruption, lobbyist, fake news, and party interest all delay the vital process of implementing environmental policy that is widespread enough to protect the health of the people and the environment, while also not destroying the economy or putting the United States further in debt. Good environmental policies will create more jobs and be economically efficient. It must appeal to both sides of the aisle in government in order to obtain widespread support. In order to combat climate change I believe we need to diversify energy options and incentivize green energy. A solar tax law that reduces barriers for households to establish rooftop solar panels and allows these households to sell surplus back to the energy grid will incentivize households to adopt green energy and not be tied down by costs. Additionally, a carbon pricing policy would benefit the country as a whole and facilitate reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that fuel climate change. Carbon pricing and some of its components include: Carbon Tax, Emission Trading System (ETS), and Crediting Mechanism. Carbon pricing combats emissions through command and control and market mechanisms. Carbon tax puts a direct price on greenhouse gas emissions and requires economic actors to pay for every ton of carbon pollution emitted. Emission trading system sets a limit on total direct GHG emissions from specific sectors and sets up a market where the rights to emit (in the form of carbon permits) are traded. ETS allows polluters to meet emission reduction targets flexibly and at the lowest cost. Crediting mechanism assigns credits for emission reductions that occur as a result of a project (by a business or government) or policy, which can then be bought or sold. Entities seeking to lower their emissions can buy the credits to offset their actual emissions. This method entails an officially established third-party verifier to sign off on the emission reduction before it is credited. Effective carbon pricing lowers the cost and increases the economic efficiency of reducing emissions. To evaluate carbon pricing's success, states should be required to record the amount of renewable energy sourced over time. An increase in renewable energy is a valuable indicator that carbon pricing is working. Another policy evaluation is to measure statewide carbon emissions. This would involve having businesses and energy companies recording and annually submitting a report of carbon usage as well as their energy sources. This would work best on a local level as it would be more accurate. In conclusion, if energy diversification and incentivization were implemented, carbon and greenhouse gas emissions would decrease. This would effectively combat climate change and reduce the detrimental effects associated with it.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 15, 2021. Winners will be announced on Sep 30, 2021.

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