Boost university voices at COP24 UN climate meeting

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

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Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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Research institutions are appointed to act as official ‘observer’ delegates at international climate negotiations that are hosted by the United Nations and are otherwise closed to journalists and the outside world (see As non-party stakeholders, they will provide a layer of transparency at this week’s 24th annual Conference of the Parties session, for example. Thanks to the University Climate Delegation Coalition (UCDC) that we launched last year, these delegates are no longer simply observers: they can now bring a wide range of research voices to the table.

As knowledge producers, climate delegates from research institutions are in a position to provide insight into and attention to climate policy. The UCDC aims to engage delegates across US institutions on common initiatives. Over several months, researchers talk to their delegate representatives about their priorities for climate-related policy topics — for example, for emissions inventories, technology transfer, ecosystem management and human rights.

University delegations therefore provide an opportunity for the broader research community to connect with international climate negotiations and with climate advocacy.

Nature 564, 39 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07610-8
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Competing Financial Interests

Samantha Basile and Michael Lerner are including information here about their involvement with the campus student group, Climate Blue. Climate Blue supports the climate delegation at the University of Michigan and has engaged in advocacy on climate policy issues relevant to the city of Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan. Samantha Basile was the director of Climate Blue from fall 2016 to spring 2018 and is a current member of the group. Michael Lerner was a member from fall 2017 to spring 2018.