Support from Rutgers Climate Institute, helped Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. candidate Carla Coronado with her living and transportation costs during her January - March 2017 internship with the Climate Change and Sustainability Division (CCS) of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. The IDB is a multilateral institution and the main source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The CCS division works together with public and private financial institutions to implement climate governance systems, develop innovative schemes and instruments to promote investment in emissions reductions projects and programs, and to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. Carla worked on a study of sustainable infrastructure to understand trends of social conflicts related to infrastructure projects in Latin America, including an academic paper to explore the relationship between social conflict and sustainable infrastructure in Latin America.
Carla explains, "The CCS interest in this topic is motivated by the need for increasing current investment infrastructure rates in the LAC region for tackling the sustainability challenges of our time that include sustainable growth, inclusive development and reducing climate risk. In line with the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the division seeks to foster the scale up of infrastructure investment that is socially inclusive, low carbon, and climate resilient. Despite the pressing need for building infrastructure for fostering development in Latin America, projects face multiple conflicts, especially of a social and environmental nature, which many times have caused delays and cost overruns, or even projects’ postposition and cancellation. This constitutes an important hurdle that the division wants to encourage governments in Latin America to address. Evidence allows us to observe that conflict motivations highlight the need for developing infrastructure that embraces sustainability values and suggests that more sustainable projects are more likely to work out socio-environmental conflicts. Results also speak about the economic convenience of developing projects in a more sustainable way, which from a governmental and communities’ perspective would allow to take advantage of the benefits that infrastructures projects yield, and from a private sector perspective would reduce the risks of incurring in cost overruns and project delays and/or cancellations. Doing this internship was a tremendous opportunity that allowed me to start getting involved with the type of organizations I aim to work with in the future."