Young Brazilian Speaker at COP22 Negotiations

A group of students from the University of Michigan approached me at the Cornell exhibit with a simple question: what was our role at COP22 as students?  

Students at COP22: The Way Forward

November 19, 2016

Young Brazilian Speaker at COP22 Negotiations

A group of students from the University of Michigan approached me at the Cornell exhibit with a simple question: what was our role at COP22 as students? The Michigan delegation was interviewing students from universities around the world about what we were contributing to the conference and how we could advance its goals moving forward.

Christina YinChristina Yin, Arts and Sciences '18, is a member of Cornell's COP22 delegation

While students certainly could learn a lot about negotiating global climate governance, what unique perspective did we bring to the COP? My observation has been that students are expanding the traditional scope of climate change management, creating a dynamic space through which to frame and take action on the issue. I met students at the COP pursuing climate change and clothing design, climate change and hospitality, and climate change and human rights. From psychology to communication, digital media to visual arts, students are finding the intersections between climate change and an array of different fields.

The frame through which climate change is viewed has diversified, and I believe that students largely reflect this growth. As the impacts of climate change materialize in a growing number of forms, they present a significant challenge. At the same time, however, climate impacts present opportunities to bridge fields, find new avenues, and take action. This is the space for students to engage. We must take what we learned from the COP, from the conversations, panels, and negotiations, and apply it to a unique area we know. These intersections will drive innovative climate change management and show that there is room for collaboration across fields and governance from any influence.

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