Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Two students participate in international climate summit

Posted: November 13, 2015

Two students participate in international climate summit Lizz Ultee and Matt Irish

Thousands of government leaders, private industry innovators, environmental advocates and others will be gathering in Paris from November 30 through December 11 for the 21st Conference of Parties, an annual meeting of the nations that comprise the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. Two Climate and Space students will be there.

Doctoral Student Lizz Ultee and Undergraduate Student Matt Irish will attend the summit, known as COP21 for short, from November 30 through December 5.

"I applied to join U-M’s COP21 delegation, first and foremost, because I feel it’s important to be invested in our common climate future,” Ultee says. “Attending the COP will give me invaluable insight into the practical, societal implications of the science I study as a graduate student. As an official observer delegation, we will have access to parts of the negotiations that are not open to the public, and I look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the global negotiating process.”

The purpose of these summits is to analyze the progress that each nation has made in terms of climate change, and agreeing on steps for the future.

“Agreeing to binding global emissions reductions is much more than a pure translation and application of climate science: there are social justice, international politics, and financial issues at stake as well,” Ultee says. “Through my participation in the COP, I hope to clarify how I can tailor my scientific work to be more meaningful and useful in the pursuit of worldwide social justice.”

Ultee and Irish will be Tweeting from the summit on the Climate and Space Twitter account (@umclasp). Follow along starting on November 28 by looking for the #UofMCOP21 hasthag.

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