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The University of Waterloo, through the Waterloo Climate Institute, is an official observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and participates in the annual Conference of the Parties (COP). This year, COP27 will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6 to 18, 2022, and Waterloo will send a delegation of top student leaders and faculty researchers.
Professor Zahid Butt and MCC student Alexandra Ho will attend and observe the first week of the negotiations, while the Climate Institute’s Executive Director, Professor Sarah Burch, and PhD candidate, Isra Saeed, will participate in the second week. Mirroring the interdisciplinary nature of the Climate Institute and the complexity of the climate crisis, the delegates will bring a range of expertise to Sharm El-Sheikh spanning the topics of health, governance, energy and communications. Their attendance will provide them and the broader Waterloo community with a chance to bear witness to the negotiations at a pivotal moment in our collective goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. It will also offer opportunities to build new collaborations and broaden networks to support their research and education as the world comes together in Egypt.
Stay tuned to learn more about Waterloo at COP27 and the delegation’s activities.
Week 1 delegation
Zahid Butt is an institute member and assistant professor at the School of Public Health Sciences. His research interests focus on syndemics of infectious diseases, infectious disease epidemiology, spatial epidemiology, global health, big data analytics, and public health informatics.
Week 2 delegation
Sarah Burch is the institute's executive director and associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. She is an expert in transformative responses to climate change at the community scale, innovative strategies for making progress on sustainability, and the unique contributions small businesses can make.
Alexandra Ho is a Master of Climate Change student with a background in Psychology & English Literature. She focuses on understanding the relationships between climate change communications and behavioural choice-making as well as the impacts of climate change on mental health and psychological wellbeing, particularly among youth.
Isra Saeed is a PhD candidate in sustainability management. Her research focuses on the eradication of energy injustice in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also works for UWaterloo's Graduate Student Association as its equity coordinator, advocating for on-campus initiatives to support gender and racial equity.