Environmental Science Class Prepares for UNFCC Meeting in Cancun
A second delegation of Moravian faculty members, students, and alumni is preparing to attend the United Nations Framework Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC), this time to be held in Cancun, Mexico, November 29 - December 10.
Last year, a group attended the UN meeting in Copenhagen, after Moravian was selected to serve as a "civil society observer" at the annual UNFCCC meetings. The College is one of just six private liberal arts or predominantly undergraduate institutions in the U.S to serve in that capacity.
The 2010 Moravian attendees are students Garth Denton Borhaug, Rachel Johnson, Nelson Knudsen, Erin McMonagle, Ingmar Nauman, and Benjamin Peter; alumni Sarah Ahlgren '02 and Terry-Rene Wiesner Brown '94; Diane Husic, chair of biological sciences and course co-leader, Hilde Binford, associate professor of music and course co-leader; and Corey Husic.
The trip is the culmination of the semester-long course "COP16: Environmental Justice on the International Stage," which delved into associated issues and the College's role at the conference as an independent non-government observer. "We are attending for educational purposes—to train people going off to grad school or who will be doing work in environmental science," said Professor Binford. "We also will be reporting back to the community in the form of a blog." As a member of the RINGO constituency—Research and Independent NGO—Moravian also will serve as an educational resource for others at the conference.
The goal of the Cancun meeting, also known as COP16, is to find a binding agreement to replace or modify the KYOTO protocol, which ends in 2012. "The prospects are not considered strong for having a treaty by the end of this cycle," said Professor Binford. "The hope is that they will make enough progress to have something ready to finalize in South Africa in 2011 (COP 17)."