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Leah Dundun Participated as an official United Nations Observer to COP22

Posted by on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in Uncategorized.

Vanderbilt University School of Engineering‘s PhD Candidate Leah Dundon participated as an official United Nation’s Observer to the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.  COP22 represented the first effort of the international community to implement the historic 2015 Paris Agreement in which all nations, developed and developing countries alike, committed to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.  The Paris Agreement was entered into in Paris, France at COP21 in 2015.  The “COPs” are held in a different UNFCCC participating country each year, and Morocco was selected for 2016 in part because of its strong commitment to renewable energy.  Morocco’s new concentrated solar plant will be the largest in the world and will be capable of storing energy for up to 8 hours when it is completed.  These UNFCCC conferences represent the international community’s commitment to addressing climate change, to moving towards a low-carbon future, and to assisting those countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts from a changing climate.  Leah attended negotiations and met with leading climate scientists and members of the U.S. negotiating team.  Developing countries in particular face significant challenges to meet increasing energy demands and lift millions out of poverty while relying on cleaner sources of energy.  Researchers play an important role in moving the Paris Agreement to implementation, and while at COP22 Leah also participated in meetings of the Researchers and Independent Non-governmental Organizations (RINGOs), an official UNFCCC Observer organization of which Vanderbilt is a member.  Leah’s work focusses on climate change, risk, and operational resiliency.