It is hard to believe that I am actually on my way to Warsaw to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP). A delegation from Washington University has attended the past several COPs thanks to our amazing students, current and past, who obtained delegate status. This year I am privileged to attend with nine of our students: Caitlin McCoy, Caitlin Lee, Rachel Westrate, Jake Lyonfields, Danica Yu, Breanna Swenson, Maggie Beetstra, Ben Perlman and Brendan McIntyre. Megan Odenthal and Emily Kent are supporting us from St. Louis.
What is in store for us in Warsaw? That is a good question. While we are there the students, working in two groups, will be focusing on research projects. One group will be focusing on how Program of Activities (PoAs) under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can be made more effective (implemented), actionable (moved through process), and just (ethical for all parties involved). The second student group will focus on specific countries from the Amazon region and their participation at COP 19 in Warsaw. Their goal is to determine how delegations and representatives from NGOs from these UN member countries navigate the conference and advance their objectives. Both groups will be looking for ways that their topics relate to St. Louis and Wash U and ways that they can bring the impacts and discussions from Warsaw back home.
My goal is to support the students as well as investigate issues being discussed that relate to challenges the St. Louis region is and will face as well as what links there may be to research being conducted on campus.
So stayed tuned…we will be posting at least one daily blog….highlighting the events of our day and progress on research.
On a somber note, as this COP begins in the wake of the tragedy of Typhoon Haiyan we are all reminded of the significance and real implication of the negotiations. Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted in so many ways by the storm.