Press Release: November 7, 2016
Media Contact: Rob Levin, 207-664-3702; rlevin@coa.edu
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COA Delegation Attends UN Climate Conference

Among representatives of hundreds of countries from around the world gathering in Marrakech, Morocco at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change this week are 10 College of the Atlantic students there as part of the school’s annual delegation.

The student delegates, who will take an active role in working-group discussions, are members of the COA tutorial, “Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22),” taught by Dr. Doreen Stabinsky. COA delegates, many of whom have taken part in the annual conferences before, have the opportunity to network with members of international, non-governmental organizations and other delegates, and to help organize and take part in actions within the conference space along with other youth participants.

Many COA delegation members say they are driven by a desire to work toward ensuring more just and equitable approaches to economic and social development, and a sense of responsibility to future generations.

“I’m going to COP22 because it is my duty as a young person to not only be active at the grassroots level of climate change activism, but to also be active on the policy level, where binding and concrete decisions are being made about the collective future,” says Jenna Farineau ’18.

The U.N.’s 22nd Conference of the Parties, which takes place Nov. 7-18, marks the first gathering of the 191 countries that signed on to last year’s historic Paris climate agreement. Decisions made in Marrakech will guide the implementation and enforcement of the accord, and proper implementation is key toward a sustainable future, COA delegates say.

“It’s really scary that in 20 years, our lives might be completely different. But an even scarier thought is that we here in the US and other developed countries will be living the same, without any adaption to reduce emissions of fossil fuels,” Rachael Goldberg ’19 says.

“Implementing the Paris Agreement (UNFCCC COP22)” is an advanced tutorial focusing on the process of treaty implementation, specifically examining the processes underway to bring the Paris Agreement into force. Students work with Stabinsky to choose one or more elements of the Paris Agreement on which they develop 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 college 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 an individual course of study in human ecology, working across multiple disciplines, collaborating, and creating innovative solutions.


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