At the 24th Conference of the Parties, or “COP24” in Poland, 17 Students and six professors worked with NGOs to create solutions for climate change problems.
The conference lasted from Dec. 3-17. The delegation was a part of the Global Climate Science and Policy class, taught by four professors, including the director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions Prof. Allison Chatrchyan, development sociology.
Every student spent the semester preparing for the conference by working with a non-profit organization in improving its international presence. Students studied domestic and international environmental policies in order to produce well-informed deliverables in partnership with their respective organizations.
Julie Kapuvari ’19 worked with the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN), a NGO based in Cameroon, “to produce a curriculum to engage high school students in farming techniques that mitigate and adapt to climate change induced events, such as droughts and floods.”
At the conference, Kapuvari and her classmates attended workshops and interacted with experts from around the world. During breaks, they answered questions at the University’s booth and talked with delegates from Ghana, Australia, Denmark and Great Britain, among others.
Martha Torres ’19 found the experience to be “motivating, enlightening, and tiring.” She emphasized that climate change is an important issue because it is an inevitable force that will affect us all.
“New York State (working with Cornell) is working to create emergency plans for coastal communities which are likely to suffer the most immediate consequences of sea level changes,” she said in an email to the Sun.
“This includes not just NYC and the cities on the Atlantic, but all of the Hudson river communities as well as the towns that border the Great Lakes [like Ithaca],” Torres added.
While the students were frustrated and disappointed by United State’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Kapuvari argued that “the people are the real delegates of our country” and urged students to stay engaged by joining “local activist organizations such as Climate Justice Cornell,” of which Kapuvari is the General Body Organizer.