Getting to COP24 (2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference)

How did I get into the COP24? I started asking my program director about attending COP in March 2018 and was in contact with our university’s COP organizer by April. But asking was not enough as dozens of students also wanted to attend. I had to have something that made me unique and show why I was the one to choose over the others also wanting to go.

My master’s capstone project was the piece that made me stand out. I wrote the curriculum for a new interdisciplinary undergraduate Climate Change Studies minor that was the first named “climate change” degree for University of California San Diego. My advisors knew the depth of work I put in to make the degree a reality (students can begin enrolling in the degree in January 2019). My unique work and work ethic inspired my advisors to be my advocates and, between the three of us, persistence paid off. In August, I learned I had been selected as one of UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography delegates to COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

I was excited and nervous, and immediately started preparing for my trip. I began reviewing past COP agendas, attending webinars for COP attendees, and reading the latest documents from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website about the current state of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement negotiations. I knew there would be thousands of people at COP and dozens of different issues being discussed across the country delegations and interested NGOs, IGOs, and other “non-party” stakeholders.

The topics I was most interested in were climate change communication and education, ocean and climate, as well as gender and climate. I had been advised to follow one or two topics throughout the entire conference. I also learned from colleagues who had attended previous COPs that the schedule for meetings constantly changed as party delegates made decisions or needed more time to negotiate emerging issues.

Every action matters. Every bit of warming matters. Every year matters. Every choice matters.
Every action matters. Every bit of warming matters. Every year matters. Every choice matters.

I was totally overwhelmed my first day. So many meetings happening at the same time and through a complex spanning 8 different buildings. I mostly stayed with one or two of the delegates from the group I came with as I tried to learn the breadth and depth of what I was experiencing. I learned much that first day about how to plan my agenda and navigate around the massive conference spaces (it takes 15-20 minutes to walk from one end of the conference to another). By Day Two I was feeling more confident, asking questions in meetings, and traveling all over the conference on my own.

I was totally overwhelmed my first day. So many meetings happening at the same time and through a complex spanning 8 different buildings. I mostly stayed with one or two of the delegates from the group I came with as I tried to learn the breadth and depth of what I was experiencing. I learned much that first day about how to plan my agenda and navigate around the massive conference spaces (it takes 15-20 minutes to walk from one end of the conference to another). By Day Two I was feeling more confident, asking questions in meetings, and traveling all over the conference on my own.

I am very lucky to be here the full two weeks of the conference. Most delegates are here for only one week out of the two. I plan to take full advantage of my time here and make as many new connections as possible. I have only been able to follow two topics successfully —ocean and climate as well as climate change communication and education.

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *