Thursday, December 3, 2015

Reporting from Paris: Student updates on COP21

Among the 10 undergraduates representing Emory at COP21 are, from left: Savannah Miller, Naomi Maisel, Taylor McNair, Mae Bowen and Siyue Zong.

“In a basement auditorium in a quiet Parisian neighborhood, writer Naomi Klein held an event to talk about the ‘Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another,’” reports Emory junior Clara Perez from the scene.

“Climate change, Klein said, is the catalyst to transformative change in all kinds of struggles – indigenous, class, anti-racism, among many others. She called for addressing climate change in a way that is ‘based on justice and redressing historical wrongs.’”

Now midway through a two-week trip to Paris, a delegation of Emory undergraduates are providing real-time updates on the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) and related events.

On the web site they’ve created, the students have posted photos of a demonstration that happened shortly after they landed in Paris. And they are gathering “snapshot” bios of other attendees, under the heading “Humans of COP21.”

Senior Taylor McNair writes: “From a business perspective, carbon pricing at COP21 is arguably the most exciting news to emerge from the first few days of the conference.”

Senior Mae Bowen was intrigued by an event at the Kedge Business School in Paris. Jean-Christophe Carteron presented a Sustainability Literacy Test he developed as a tool for universities and corporations to assess and develop the knowledge of their community members.

“While ‘sustainability’ is still a complicated term,” Bowen writes, “the goals of the Sustainability Literacy Test are admirable and a step in the right direction. No business or government leader should be able to claim ignorance when making decisions that negatively affect the future of our planet and humanity.”

Watch the web site for daily updates and follow the students’ updates on Twitter: @EmoryinParis.

And check out the podcasts that the students created as part of the Emory course “Paris is an Explanation: Understanding Climate Change at the 2015 United Nations Meeting in France.”

Peachtree to Paris: Emory delegation headed to U.N. climate talks

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