Waterloo Students and IC3 Members in Morocco for UN Climate Change Conference

Monday, November 7, 2016

At this very moment, political leaders from all over the world are gathering in Marrakech, Morocco for the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), which began today and will run until November 18th. Joining them are five student delegates selected by the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3), as well as two IC3 members and professors, who will be representing the University of Waterloo. <--break->The student delegates are acting as ambassadors for UWaterloo and Canadian students as a whole, observing negotiations, attending events and listening to speakers, engaging with other delegates through meetings and conversations, and working with global youth and research groups that provide input throughout the official negotiation process. 

Nicknamed the “Action COP,” COP22's focus is to build on the Paris Agreement, which emerged out of last year's conference, and to discuss the details of the implementation of the Agreement. One key outcome of the Paris Agreement was the temperature limit: a long term goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius) by the end of the century. The Paris Agreement came into force on November 4th, 2016, 30 days after the date on which the threshold of ratification by at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions was reached. To date, 102 parties, including Canada, representing about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the Agreement. A live Paris Agreement Tracker is available for the most up-to-date numbers.

Waterloo's COP22 delegation.

L-R: Kayla Hardie (SCI), Masroora Haque (ARTS), Professor Brendon Larson (ENV), Bailey Jacobs (ENV), Professor Neil Craik (ENV), and Ambika Opal (ENG). Missing: Hadi El-Shayeb (ENV).

University of Waterloo students have been engaged in the annual climate change conference as delegates and advocates since 2013, but this is the first time that the delegation includes students from faculties outside of Environment, including Arts, Engineering, and Science. While the ways in which the students have been educated about climate change may differ, they agree that the need for action is urgent and that people need to come together across disciplines, sectors, and regions to create solutions for this complex problem.

Sarah Brown, IC3's Associate Director, is especially thrilled about the interdisciplinary nature of this year's delegation. She states, 

Working closely with this group as they prepare to take part in COP22 has been so energizing. They are proof to me that the combined passion, knowledge, and skills of people from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds is extremely powerful.

As the delegates do their part on the ground in Morocco, a dedicated home team, based in the Climate Students group, will be relaying updates from them and hosting various interactive events on campus to spread the word about climate change and facilitate meaningful discussions on how to take action.

There are a number of ways to follow the action and get involved right here at home. You can use #UWCOP22 on social media, attend one (or two) of two scheduled Skype calls with the delegates in Morocco, follow the Climate Students' blog and social media accounts (Twitter and Instagram), and watch the Morocco team's takeover of the Faculty of Environment's Snapchat account (envwaterloo) throughout the conference. The delegation will also be sharing their experiences and key takeaways at a public post-COP22 panel discussion on Monday, November 28th

Check out the full list of social media accounts to follow and events to attend on campus! IC3 will be updating the list and creating event listings as additional details are confirmed.

Meet the delegation and discover where to find them on social media below:

Week 1

Young lady with wooly grey scarf standing in front of trees and smiling

Kayla Hardie (3A Physics, Faculty of Science) 
Follow on Twitter

Young man standing on stair case, smiling and looking up at the horizon

Hadi El-Shayeb (4A Planning, Faculty of Environment)
Follow on Twitter

Man with grey hair and glasses, leaning against a tree

Neil Craik (Director, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Faculty of Environment) 
Follow on Twitter

Week 2

Young lade with with glasses smiles in front of trees in fall colors 

Ambika Opal (4A Systems Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering)

Young lady with grey scarf looks over shoulder and smiles

Masroora Haque (Master of Arts in Global Governance, Faculty of Arts) 
Follow on Twitter

Young lady with blonde hair and brown jacket smiles with trees in the background

Bailey Jacobs (4A Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Faculty of Environment) 
Follow on Twitter and Instagram

Man with brown hair and striped shirt

​Brendon Larson (Associate Dean Undergraduate, Faculty of Environment) 
Follow on Twitter


With files from the Faculty of Environment.

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