COA students to participate at U.N. Lima climate talks

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic students, alumni and Professor of Global Environmental Politics Dr. Doreen Stabinsky are once again making their presence felt in international United Nations climate change talks.

A delegation from the student group Earth in Brackets is attending the latest round of major climate talks, the COP20 U.N. climate negotiations, Dec. 1-12 in Lima, Peru, having already attended youth gatherings prior to the conference and the People’s Summit — Cumbre de los Pueblos — a meeting space for civil society organizations.

Attending are Augustin Martz ’17, of Winterthur, Switzerland; Adrian Fernandez Jauregui, ’15, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Samaipata, Bolivia; Maria Alejandra Escalante ’16, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Bogota, Colombia; Rachel Wells ’15, of Warrenton, Va.; Michelle Pazmino ’17, of Quito, Ecuador; Julian Velez ’15, of Tepoztlan Morelos, Mexico; Sergio Cahueque ’17, of Guatemala City, Guatemala; Angela Valenzuela ’17, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Victoria, Chile; Aneesa Khan ’17, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Muscat, Oman; Maytik Avirama ’15 a Davis United World College Scholar, of Bogota, Colombia; Klever Descarpontriez ’16, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Omer Shamir, a Davis United World College Scholar, of Tel Aviv, Israel; and Sara Velander ‘17, of Chesapeake Beach, Md. COA alumni attending include Nathan Thanki ‘14, of Belfast, Northern Ireland; Juan Soriano ’11 of Washington, D.C.; and Juan Pablo Hoffmaister ’07, of San José, Costa Rica.

COP stands for “Conference of the Parties,” an annual international meeting of the member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where most of the decisions regarding climate change negotiations are made. The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties is December 2015 in Paris, France.

“Both Lima and Paris are crucial meetings, as the UNFCCC is trying to come up with a new global agreement on climate change that will most probably decide the level of commitments to mitigate carbon emissions,” said Escalante. “The new agreement is supposed to be agreed in Paris, so Lima and the year following will be the time to debate all the fundamental pieces of the agreement. This new agreement is full of nuances and crucial political demands coming from developing countries.”

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994 with the objective of stabilizing greenhouse gases emissions to prevent the dangerous impacts of climate change on ecosystems, food production and sustainable development.

The Lima talks are only the latest international climate forum for Earth in Brackets. Started by a group of COA students preparing to attend UN Climate Negotiations in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2006, the group has grown into an internationally recognized voice on issues of climate adaptation, food sovereignty and sustainable development.

Also known by its symbol, [Earth], the group has attended numerous global conferences on the environment, world food security and sustainable development, including meetings pertaining to the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

Participants in the Lima climate talks are blogging in English and Spanish via and the group’s Facebook, Twitter and Google Group pages. For more about Earth in Brackets, watch a video by Devin Altobello ’13 at this address Altobello followed the team in Durban, South Africa, in 2011.

“Some people are surprised undergraduate students are attending UN forums,” college President Dr. Darron Collins ‘92 said. “COA students aren’t just attending them, they’re taking active roles in leading them. COA students lead by doing, whether the scope is local or global. ”

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