Emory Delegation to 2016 UN Climate Conference - Marrakech, Morocco

For the second year in a row, Emory sent a delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference. 

Emory delegation to COP22

A 10-member team traveled to Marrakech for the November 7-18 UN climate change conference, which serves as both the 22nd“Conference of the Parties” (COP 22) to the original 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and also importantly the first meeting of the Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement (CMA 1).

The delegation was led by Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Eri Saikawa and included four undergraduate students, two graduate students, and three staff members (see bios below). The 2016 talks started just days after the groundbreaking 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change officially entered into force on November 4.

The team posted blogs from Morocco at http://climate.emorydomains.org/posts/, and students tweeted at https://twitter.com/emoryclimateorg

Also in Marrakech, just before the start of COP-22, Dr. Carla Roncoli, Associate Director of Emory's Master's in Development Practice program, participated in Indigenous 2016, a conference organized by UNESCO and the Indigenous People of Africa Coordinating Committee. The conference brought together researchers and indigenous activists from around the world to share experiences and formulate recommendations for the inclusion of indigenous people's concerns in the upcoming COP22. Dr. Roncoli presented a paper on how local farming communities perceive and address climate-related water scarcity in Burkina Faso.

Emory’s Delegation to the 2016 UN Climate Conference 

Eri Saikawa – Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences.  Dr. Saikawa is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences. She taught the CoLA course last year with Sheila Tefft and Wes Longhofer and took the first Emory delegation to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Climate Change negotiation in Paris last year. She is excited to have an opportunity to showcase research done at Emory on climate change at the COP 22 this year and is hoping to establish more links with other universities and NGOs for future delegations.

Maya Bornstein – Sophomore, Emory College Maya is passionate about social justice topics, especially those concerning inequalities. In 2015 she received the Break the Cycle Grant, which address poverty through health disparities, and focused specifically on the effects of urban gardening in the Metro-Atlanta area in order to combat food deserts. Climate justice is an issue Maya continues to learn more about, and she helped organize Climate Change Week and Emory Climate Organization (ECO) at Emory last year.

Mae Bowen ‘16C – Emory Scholars Program. Mae is a 2016 graduate of Emory College currently working on external relations for the Emory Scholars Program. She studied environmental sciences and political science and is headed to New York University next year to pursue her JD.  She was a member of Emory's first UNFCCC delegation to COP21 in Paris last year and co-founded the Emory Climate Organization. Mae is excited to attend COP22 to continue learning about the legal and language mechanisms used by negotiators, the effect of culture and values on diplomacy, and how small island developing states advocate for themselves at meetings like the COP. She also hopes to help build relationships for Emory to utilize for future COP side events, connect with Emory alumni in relevant fields, and create content to utilize in a development campaign to support future Emory COP delegations. 

Caiwei Huang – 4-year B.A./M.A. student, Political Science.  Mae is interested in how China's low-carbon development. She is currently researching on how China’s energy system can adopt a more low-carbon diet. At COP22, Caiwei will be presenting her current research at the 1-day Oasis venue. As an official observer, she wishes to focus on China’s role in international climate negotiation. She also hopes to interview some Chinese officials for her current research.

Jin Lee – Emory Law Student.  Jin is in her last year of law school at Emory University School of Law, and will be practicing environmental law upon graduation in Washington, D.C. During law school, she worked at the EPA and Coca-Cola’s environmental law department, focusing on federal water law. At COP, Jin will be presenting Emory Turner Clinic’s review of the Clean Power Plan in 8 Southeastern States, which evaluates whether state laws allow the states to implement the Clean Power Plan. She looks forward to learning about the legal frameworks behind enforcing the Paris Agreement, water conservation efforts, and climate justice issues.

Kate Lee, Clinical Fellow and Staff Attorney for the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and Policy Manager for the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. Originally from eastern North Carolina, Kate is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Georgetown University Law Center. Since joining the Clinic in January 2015, Kate has worked on a variety of energy and environmental matters, focusing on climate and energy policy. Most recently, she prepared a report on Clean Power Plan compliance in the Southeast, and filed an amicus brief on behalf of three river protection non-profits in Florida v. Georgia, an original action in the U.S. Supreme Court. At COP 22, she will be participating on the panel titled Health: the New Paradigm for Local Climate Action with the U.S. Green Building Council in a side event on Wednesday, November 9 titled.

Emily Li – Senior, Emory College.  Emily is studying creative writing/English and environmental sciences with a passion for science journalism. As media chair of the ECO, she oversees the group’s digital media content. Last summer, she worked for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as the science writing and communications intern, and hopes to continue to engage the public in climate science at COP 22.

Geoff Martin – M.S. Candidate, Environmental Science. Geoff is a second-year master's student in the Department of Environmental Sciences and has worked in Dr. Eri Saikawa's lab group since Fall 2015. He received his undergraduate degree in Development Studies from Brown University in May 2011. Before coming to Emory, Geoff worked with Massachusetts’ energy efficiency program, MassSave, for a private company conducting home energy assessments. For his thesis, Geoff is analyzing the effectiveness of common state-level climate and energy policies on reducing carbon emissions from power plants. He is also interested in determining why states adopt effective climate policies, while others adopt ineffective policies or block climate action altogether. At COP22, Geoff will present on potential opportunities for U.S.-China collaboration on climate change, with an emphasis on the energy sector. He is also excited to share information about the COP with Emory students and faculty once returning to Emory.

Tyler Stern ‘16C - Residence Life Fellow.  Tyler graduated Emory last year with a degree in Applied Physics and played a key role in creating the Emory Climate Organization. He is looking forward to learning about different sustainable technologies whenever he's not assisting web technology or digital strategy while in Morocco. 

Jennie Sun – Senior, Emory College.  Jennie is a senior double majoring in Environmental Sciences and Economics. She is involved with the Emory Climate Organization and helped with planning and organizing last year’s Climate Week. She is also passionate about advocating sustainable food on campus, by which she helped with planning the Emory 2016 Sustainable Food Fair. As part of the Emory delegation attending UN’s COP 22, she is interested in hearing about solutions and actions to climate change from developed nations and looking forward to see a greater focus on major climate related issues happening in developing nations. She is excited to bring her experience back to Emory in the form of blog and photographs!