Morgan Heckerd ’18, Aura Silva ’18, Maxim Lowe ’18 and Aneesa Khan ’17 in Paris for the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties.Morgan Heckerd ’18, Aura Silva ’18, Maxim Lowe ’18 and Aneesa Khan ’17 in Paris for the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties.

A delegation of 17 students from Bar Harbor’s College of the Atlantic is in Paris this month to participate in the latest United Nations climate summit, a two-week session expected to yield an international agreement on carbon-emission reductions with a target of keeping global warming increases at or below 2 degrees Celsius.

“We don’t need to look to corporations to make small changes to the way they work. Civil society and people on the ground have the solutions to climate change” - Aneesa Khan ’17.

Earlier in November, the students were on campus planning presentations on topics such as climate justice, historical responsibility and resistance to change, as they looked forward to their Nov. 23 departure. Their main concern, they said, is about the disproportionate impacts of global warming on the world’s poor.

Aneesa Khan, born in India and raised in Oman, is a third-year Davis Scholar at College of the Atlantic (COA), where her studies have included international environmental politics, law, food and agricultural justice and trade issues. At the U.N.’s climate change conference in Lima, Peru in 2014, Khan followed negotiations on climate finance, carbon markets and other matters. This year, she’ll continue tracking policy on these issues while also engaging with the large number of climate justice activists who will attend.

“These negotiations have been happening for years now,” Khan noted. “It’s crazy that they haven’t reached a fair and equitable climate agreement. That’s the major part of the narrative that we’re trying to change this year. We’re saying that governments are not delivering the climate deal—so we don’t need them anymore. We don’t need governments to take decisions. We don’t need to look to corporations to make small changes to the way they work. Civil society and people on the ground have the solutions to climate change.”

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