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By Jin Hyung Lee, Emory Law (pictured third from left)
As a law student, I tend to be in my own little bubble, only looking at climate change through the legal and policy lens. But, climate change is not simply a legal problem, and finding effective solutions to climate change requires an interdisciplinary approach. COP22 fully embraced the interdisciplinary nature of climate change. By going to COP22 and stepping outside of my little bubble, I was able to appreciate the full breadth and depth of climate change, and to understand how exactly I could use my legal education to contribute to solving climate change-related issues.
By Geoff Martin (G'17), MS in Environmental Sciences
As a graduate student in environmental sciences focused on climate and energy policies, attending COP was a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness firsthand international climate negotiations and hear from experts from around the world. This was not only an incredibly exciting and valuable personal experience, but also strengthened my graduate research and helped me grow professionally. For my graduate research, I evaluated the effectiveness of state-level policies on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. At COP I got to hear directly from state regulators about the efforts they were pursuing, the commitments they were making, and how important they viewed state-level action in the fight against climate change. Hearing from these top-level state authorities strengthened and reinforced for me the relevancy of my research in the context of global climate change. Going to COP also forced me to get out of my comfort zone. The COP is an unparalleled networking opportunity, and networking is something that I dread. Yet with more than a few gentle nudges from my advisor, by the end of COP I was connecting with other professionals, and received a number of business cards that proved to be valuable for my research. I also gained experience communicating my research at COP when I got to present at a side event and discuss my preliminary findings with the professionals and academics that visited our booth. Overall, I can confidently say that attending COP22 was the greatest privilege that I had as a graduate student, and is something that other students interested in climate change should have the opportunity to experience in the future.