Climate Change & Society

Climate Change & Society

We have  come to a point where  universities play a unique role at the frontlines of climate change. Today, Emory University is part of a select group of institutions in the U.S., sending delegations to the annual climate negotiations, strengthening research on global climate change, and taking an active role in our communities. This was possible because Emory administrators, faculty and students worked together to build the university’s role on climate. As I mentioned during the closing ceremony at the We Are Still In pavilion at COP25 in Madrid, higher education brings an important voice to efforts on climate change. I hope to build on past successes and grow together with partners on our campus and at other institutions.

Eri Saikawa, Associate Professor Environmental Sciences/Environmental Health

Ratified in 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the first global treaty addressing climate change, UNFCCC meets yearly to discuss progress and take bold action through the Conference of Parties (COP). The Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement are other landmark treaties that have come out of these annual meetings. Emory has sent delegations to the COP since 2015: COP21 in Paris, France (2015), COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco (2016), COP23 in Bonn, Germany (2017), COP24 in Katowice, Poland (2018) and COP25 in Madrid, Spain (2019).

As an experience abroad, students who wish to participate must apply to the Climate Change & Society program. Applications are available and due the summer prior to a student's participation. Program participation is not guaranteed and applications are competitive. Students who wish to apply, must enroll (or have completed in a prior fall semester) ENVS 326/526: Climate Change & Society.

In past years, Emory has been able to take between 10-16 students to the COP. Their experiences are detailed through personal blogs and through the Climate Talks website. Students' travel and program costs are sponsored through the generosity of a private donor.

Application details will be provided in summer 2020 for students interested in attending COP26 in Glasgow, UK in November 2020.

Please consider supporting Emory's efforts to send students to the UNFCCC COP. You may make a secure donation by clicking here.


Program details:

  • Founding principle: To understand issues related to science, policy & the business of climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Students are provided an opportunity to engage in international climate change negotiations, on the ground and in real-time.
  • Students from across Emory are encouraged to apply. In the past, students from Emory College, Goizueta, Laney Graduate School and Rollins School of Public Health have attended.
  • Students must enroll in ENVS 326/526: Climate Change & Society (3 credits)
  • If selected to attend, students will register for ENVS 426: U.N. Climate Change Conference (2 credits)
  • Faculty supervisor & coordinator: Professor Eri Saikawa, Department of Environmental Sciences & Rollins School of Public Health/Environmental Health Department