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Photo courtest of NYUAD Green House

NYUAD Students Attend COP24

Seven NYU Abu Dhabi students will attend the COP24 climate change conference, representing the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

Despite the Paris Agreement’s success in increasing governmental and non-governmental action to mitigate climate change, climate change is happening — and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. The Special Report, on Global Warming of 1.5 °C published on Oct. 8 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that the Earth has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius. The Paris Agreement aims to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the report highlights that at the current rate, we are far from achieving our target.
On a positive note, however, it is imperative to understand that we can contain the climate crisis by rapidly eliminating fossil-fuel energy, reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainable infrastructure and investment, changing consumption patterns and restoring natural ecosystems. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change plays an important role in brokering international collaboration in climate action. The UNFCCC brings together a range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders under one roof through the annual Conference of Parties negotiations to find solutions for adapting to and mitigating climate change.
23 COP negotiations have been held thus far, with the historical Paris Agreement reached two years ago at COP21. The main agenda of COP24 is the completion of the rulebook to the Paris Agreement that will shape the technical details of how the Paris Agreement will be implemented beyond 2020. The success of COP24 also depends on whether or not the negotiations on climate finance can be taken forward.
This year, the 24th edition of COP will take place in Katowice, Poland. While the world watches what happens in COP24, a delegation of NYU Abu Dhabi students will have the unique opportunity to attend COP24 and directly engage in the climate change dialogue.
Starting Dec. 3, these seven students will participate in the conference as youth delegates for the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. The students participating in the conference have been preparing for the conference through Green House, a student climate change think tank at NYUAD. Through the mentorship of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Shakeel Kazmi, Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies, the students will follow particular tracks on climate negotiations such as climate finance or loss and damage. Furthermore, students will also have the opportunity to participate in side events organized by environmental organizations from around the world.
Hannah Melville Rea, Class of 2019 and a COP21 delegate, who will participate in COP24, said, “Participating in COP negotiations as a youth delegate is an incredible opportunity that only very few students from around the world have. Having participated in COP21 in Paris, I am looking forward to understanding how the implementation process for Paris Agreement is being carried out. At the same time, I am excited to help new members navigate COP24.”
At the same time, a COP week will take place at NYUAD starting Dec. 3 to raise awareness for the importance of climate change. On Dec 3. and Dec 4., Green House will sit by a table in the East Dining Hall motivating students to test their climate change knowledge and provide information on the work of the UNFCCC. Throughout the next two weeks, a television in the East Dining Hall will be live-streaming the negotiations taking place at COP24. Additionally, pamphlets and posters will be distributed across campus, and updates from the NYUAD delegation will be posted on the Ecoherence and Green House Facebook pages. The hope is that every student will have an opportunity to engage with this exciting event in some way.
Rashtra Raj Bhandari is a columnist. Email him at
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