Sergio Cahueque '17, left, joins <a href="https://www.un.org/sg/biography.shtml" target="_blank">United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon</a>, right, in marking the entry-into-force of the recent Paris Agreement on climate change.Sergio Cahueque '17, left, joins United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, in marking the entry-into-force of the recent Paris Agreement on climate change.Sergio Cahueque ’17, who represented COA at the meeting, said he was left hopeful after hearing from Mr. Ban about the U.N.’s efforts to involve recommendations and concerns voiced by college delegations, non-governmental organizations, and other civil society groups.

“This event showed me that leaders around the world acknowledge the importance of the Paris Agreement and its binding structure,” Cahueque said.

The entry-into-force of the Paris climate accord, occurring on Nov. 4, was heralded as a “historic day” by Mr. Ban. He challenged the 103 countries signed on to the agreement to sustain international momentum toward lower emissions and a more climate-resilient attitude toward growth.

“We are the last [generation] that can prevent [climate change’s] worst consequences,” said Mr. Ban. “Today showed us what is possible when we join forces for a common future.”

Other international speakers featured at the meeting included Keya Chateerjee, the Executive Director of the US Climate Action Network (CAN), attending on behalf of CAN International, Angie Fyfe, Executive Director of International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) USA, and Emad Adly of the Arab Network for Environment and Development.

Cahueque said he hopes that Mr. Ban’s urgent challenge can be put into action.

Sergio Cahueque ’17, left, watches United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deliver informal comments to the media on the entry-into-force of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. <a href="http://webtv.un.org/topics-issues/un-secretary-general/watch/ban-ki-moon-un-secretary-general-on-paris-climate-agreement-media-stakeout-4-november-2016/5196662877001" target="_blank">Watch here.</a>Sergio Cahueque ’17, left, watches United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deliver informal comments to the media on the entry-into-force of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. Watch here.“There needs to be a connection with the government and civil society, on a local and international level. That is the only way we can have a strong implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

COA has been sending students to international climate negotiations since 2006. The students play an active role in these spaces by helping draft and deliver interventions to delegates and other stakeholders, organizing actions and workshops, and networking with various other climate justice groups and organizations.

Sergio Cahueque ’17 is taking the tutorial “<a href="/live/profiles/2668-tutorial-implementing-the-paris-agreement-unfccc" target="_blank">Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22)</a>,” in which the class studies treaty implementation with a specific focus on the recent Paris Agreement on climate change. Part of the itinerary for the class is attending COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, where students play an active role in organizing workshops and networking with other climate justice groups.Sergio Cahueque ’17 is taking the tutorial “Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22),” in which the class studies treaty implementation with a specific focus on the recent Paris Agreement on climate change. Part of the itinerary for the class is attending COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, where students play an active role in organizing workshops and networking with other climate justice groups. Credit: Felipe Andres Fontecilla Gutierrez ’20Currently, there is a 10-member delegation attending the22nd Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco. The aim of the conference is to develop specific plans for implementing the Paris agreement and ensuring compliance.

These students are part of the COA tutorial, “Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22).” In this advanced course, students focus on the process of treaty implementation, while specifically examining the processes underway to bring the Paris Agreement into force. Students work with global environmental politics professor Dr. Doreen Stabinsky, who attended Marrakech as a member of the COA delegation, to choose one or more elements of the Paris Agreement on which they developed significant expertise.

College of the Atlantic was the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2016, both The Sierra Club and The Princeton Review named College of the Atlantic the #1 Green College in the United States. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with our natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, working across multiple disciplines, collaborating, innovating, and thinking far outside the box.

The students enrolled in the tutorial “<a href="/live/profiles/2668-tutorial-implementing-the-paris-agreement-unfccc" target="_blank">Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22)</a>” study treaty implementation through the lens of the landmark Paris Agreement. Sergio Cahueque ’17, right, represents the class at the UN Headquarters in New York, NY, where the agreement's entry-into-force is marked.The students enrolled in the tutorial “Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22)” study treaty implementation through the lens of the landmark Paris Agreement. Sergio Cahueque ’17, right, represents the class at the UN Headquarters in New York, NY, where the agreement's entry-into-force is marked. Credit: Felipe Andres Fontecilla Gutierrez ’20