Sensing Opportunity in Climate Change
Nuyi Tao, MBA/MS '03, leverages Erb experience to pursue a new career in sustainable development.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Nuyi Tao, MBA/MS ’03, formerly a financial specialist at a commercial bank in her native China, now works on the world stage as a senior carbon finance specialist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. There she uses her financial expertise and lessons learned at the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise to build a business case for sustainable development, particularly as it relates to energy and climate change.
Among the challenges of implementing carbon credit projects, Tao says, are relatively weak policy framework in some countries, the long lead time to develop such projects, and the political nature of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, which creates uncertainty for carbon asset buyers and project investors.
"Doing carbon reduction is not a risk-free exercise," she notes. "China is still developing rapidly economically and as a society. The people are very dynamic and want to make things happen. I am proud to be part of that momentum.
"Chinese people are very concerned about climate change," she continues. "While creating more extreme weather and threatening China's prosperous society, climate change also provides an opportunity to move the country's economy and society in a sustainable direction." China is determined and well-positioned to provide green technology at a cheaper cost and help itself and the rest of the world move away from fossil fuels, Tao says.
Tao applied to the Erb Institute after noting that the University of Michigan received high marks in the World Resources Institute (WRI) ranking of business schools. "I did my due diligence," she says.
By 2001, she was interning for the WRI and U-M's William Davidson Institute; she worked in Beijing on a feasibility study for a new environmental program in China. Tao also helped create a business development plan for local eco-tourism enterprises in Yunnan Province for The Nature Conservancy. She gained additional experience at Erb as an intern in the DTE Energy finance department.
However, it was her team master's project that piqued her interest in international carbon markets. Together with fellow Erb students she evaluated the feasibility of a Washington D.C.-based policy-consulting firm providing services to large multinational corporations to help them navigate the uncertainty surrounding carbon regulation in the United States.
"The Erb Institute provided lots of hands-on experiences working on real-life projects and the opportunity to network with faculty, classmates and alumni," she says. "The resources and moral support from the Erb network are invaluable."
For more information, contact:
Dominique Abed, (734) 763-8155