My name is Eduardo Rodriguez. I'm from Canada. I go to Syracuse University where I am an Economics and International Relations candidate.
What got you interested in sustainability?
The energy sector is an important economic driver in Alberta, Canada. During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in the tension between oil sands production (jobs!) and environmental sustainability. Since then, I have been fortunate to work on projects that encompass energy, sustainability, and the environment. Because of my experience, I have learned that the energy sector is about compromise. Geography, availability of resources, and governance determine the viability of energy projects. And, while renewable energy sources contribute to reducing levels of GHG, in many instances, fossil fuels are cheaper and more reliable for base load power. Energy production and sustainability are complex and fascinating.
What sustainability, energy, and mobility issues are important to you?
Environmental sustainability is incredibly important. Climate change is already starting to have drastic effects in many regions of the world. However, many people still work in sectors that rely heavily on fossil fuels. It is important to consider how their lives may be affected by the policies we choose to adopt.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I am currently developing a database for the extractive sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The sector has accelerated the economic development of the region. Hopefully, the data that I am aggregating and processing can help governments develop the sector sustainably.
What are your plans for the next five years?
I want to head back to Canada and work on energy and environmental policy.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
I applied to SISE because I am passionate about energy and sustainability, and the program allows me to collaborate with people who share my passion. In addition, researching and developing a solution to a world energy-related problem will give me greater insight into the technical, economic, and social issues concerning the sector.
The transport sector relies heavily on petroleum products, which have high emissions. While the transportation revolution is already seeing the sector move towards cleaner and more efficient technology, fossil fuels still dominate. In areas that use coal to generate electricity, electric vehicles may not necessarily be cleaner than regular vehicles. In this instance, technological advances are insufficient. Innovative ideas such as city-wide ridesharing programs and carpool lanes may better incentivize sustainability. This requires planning and vision. I want to play a role in envisioning how to further improve transportation and make it more sustainable for the future.
What are you most looking forward to doing in the city?
I must touch the bean and take a mandatory picture in front of it.
Do you like cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
In the 2014/2015 season, a black cat ran across the Camp Nou a few moments before FC Barcelona’s first game of the season. FC Barcelona went on to win the treble that year (La Copa del Rey, La Liga, and the Champions League!). I’m not superstitious but ever since then, I love black cats.