COP23 Bonn Week 1

Six students and two faculty are representing Emory during the first week of COP23 in Bonn

COP 23 Bonn Week 2

Second week students attend COP23 at Bonn! 

COP22- Marrakech

Members of Emory University COP22 delegation at UN Pavilion

Emory Joins Global Climate Talks

Emory University is an official partner in the international effort to reduce the threat of climate change.  

Just three years ago, the university dispatched its first delegation of nine students and two faculty as official observers to the annual negotiations sponsored by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In 2015, Emory joined an estimated 50 American universities accredited to attend the annual meeting, known as the Conference of the Parties or COP.  

That first Emory group attending COP21 witnessed the historic Paris accord in which almost 200 countries agreed to hold global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Emory’s Office of the Provost and the Coalition of the Liberal Arts funded the program launch and trip to Paris. Two more delegations followed as official participants at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 and COP23 in Bonn, Germany in 2017. 

Every year now, Emory sends a diverse group of representatives to observe the climate negotiations, produce multimedia and academic projects based on their interdisciplinary interests, and bring ideas on combatting climate change back to campus. Delegation members represent various disciplines, including environmental sciences, economics, chemistry, political science, physics, business, law, and creative writing. Those of us who are delegates to COP attend a preparatory course with other students interested in climate science, issues and solutions.  

This website chronicles our engagement with the climate negotiations and our search for answers to a broad range of issues, from rising temperature and sea levels to extreme weather events and climate adaptation across the globe. Although the United States is the only country to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Emory’s efforts to involve students and faculty are already having an impact at home.   

After our first delegation returned from Paris, students founded the Emory Climate Organization (ECO) to educate people on climate change science, policy, advocacy, and action. Following other delegations, Emory has organized events at the Carter Center and the Atlanta Science Festival and participated in panels organized by other universities and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Global Atlanta, a publication about international business in the city, covered the first university group of delegates to the Paris talks.  

As Emory delegates and climate students, we hope to share even more widely through this website our involvement at COP and personal interests in climate change. Our goals are to help people better understand climate science and policy, explore Emory’s climate history and student perspectives, and find ways forward to a better future. 

Universities Step-Up on Climate Change

Dr. Eri Saikawa speaking at a COP23 panel on the importance of university involvement at the climate talks. 

We have come to a point where universities play a unique role at the frontlines of climate change. Today, Emory University is part of a select group of institutions in the U.S., sending delegations to the annual climate negotiations, strengthening research on global climate change, and taking an active role in our communities. This was possible because Emory administrators, faculty and students worked together to build the university’s role on climate. As I mentioned in my remarks at COP23 in Bonn, higher education brings an important voice to efforts on climate change. Sheila Tefft, my Emory co-leader at the climate negotiations, and I hope to build on past successes and grow together with partners on our campus and at other institutions. This website is the centerpiece for our students to showcase their experiences and engagement on climate change. We hope you will enjoy it, use its resources to gain insight, and help us start more climate dialogues at home and around the world.  
                                                                                                                                                                      –Eri Saikawa 

———————————————–Read More about Dr. Eri Saikawa’s Panel Here———————————————–

Webmaster Team: Katelyn Boisvert, 20C, Environmental Science; Lauren Balotin, 19C, Environmental Science and Media Studies; Dillon Wu, 19C, Environmental Science and International Studies