COP24 Student Work

Emory Students Take the Stage at COP24

Emory Delegates: Communities Key to Resisting Global Climate Change

Emory students took the stage at international climate change negotiations to spotlight university efforts to save Atlanta’s scarce water resources and to call for city residents to think globally but act locally on climate change. On December 6 at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, the four–Lauren Balotin, Maya Bornstein, Halle Bradshaw, and Shirley Ma–highlighted ways universities can manage water and food resources and strive for social justice in the era of human-cased climate change.Also participating in the presentation, titled “Youth Researching and Advocating for Climate Action, Equity and Global Justice,” were students from Colorado State University, Clark University and the Caribbean Youth Group.    

Emory Week One Delegates: l to r, Halle Bradshaw, Faculty Member Sheila Tefft, Shirley Ma, Lauren Balotin, and Maya Bornstein.

For the fourth straight year, Emory students and faculty have served as official partners at the annual talks to shape the Paris Agreement and stem the global impact of climate change. The university also sent delegations to the UN negotiations in Paris in 2015, Marrakech in 2016, and Bonn in 2017.  Emory has 12 students and faculty in Poland this year as official observers in the UN process. However, this was the first time Emory spoke publicly on climate at COP. In the presentation and  a follow-up press conference, the students highlighted the benefits of the WaterHub water reclamation plant, the first of its kind on a university campus, and urged more local initiatives to address the Atlanta area water crisis and blunt the impacts of climate change. 

The annual meeting that was held December 3-14 in Poland is sponsored by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is known as the Conference of the Parties or COP24 this year. In 2015, Emory joined an estimated 50 American universities accredited to attend the annual negotiations and dispatched its first delegation to the ground-breaking discussions that led to the Paris Agreement. In that historic accord, almost 200 countries agreed to hold the 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.

In Katowice, the Emory team witnessed high-stakes diplomacy to adopt a package of measures to implement the Paris Agreement in full. With the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord and disappointing results from other major greenhouse gas emitters, however, the Paris goals are on the line. The U.S., the world’s second largest emitter after China, is reversing its climate policies and hurting progress toward emissions reductions. China and the European Union also face problems in meeting their international commitments.

Emory at COP24

Emory Week Two Delegates, l to r: Faculty Member Eri Saikawa, Mariangeles Gutierrez Rivera, Megan Withers, Anna Bell, Paris Wagner, Cande Bergero, Laura Toledo

Emory Students Spotlight Water and Other Climate Challenges at Global Negotiations

Emory student Halle Bradshaw, left, moderates a multi-university panel on December 6, 2018 at the United Nations climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Emory students joined colleagues from Colorado State University, Clark University and the Caribbean Youth Network to call for more student activism on fighting climate change. The presentation was titled “Students and Youth Researching and Advocating for Climate Action, Equity, and Global Justice. Listen to the full program: