Great opportunity for UMN faculty, staff, and grad students to observe international climate change policy making at COP27
UMN COP27 delegation applicants must fill in this form: z.umn.edu/COP27 by Sept 20th at 11:59 pm.
The University of Minnesota (UMN), through the Institute on the Environment (IonE), holds official “observer” status with the UNFCCC, which holds COP27, also known as the “international climate talks.” Through this form and a selection process organized by IonE, the UMN offers an opportunity for 14 faculty, staff or graduate students to be observers at COP27. A diverse UMN delegation drawn from across campuses, colleges and disciplines is sought. Faculty, researchers, post-docs, graduate and professional students, full or part-time status, are all welcome to apply. Preference goes to those with research interests or projects that directly relate to climate change policy or to the broader context, history and meaning of the UNFCCC and COP27 events and objectives. There is a priority for Africans and members of the African diaspora, as described below.
Many are calling COP27 the “Africa COP,” for: 1) the location in Egypt, 2) the attention focused on whether climate finance promises of the developed world to the developing world, including many African nations, will become commitments, and 3) the possibility that more Africans will be able to attend as parties (representing countries), observers, media or members of civil society.
Observers at past COPs have been overwhelmingly citizens of developed countries. In a Background Note entitled Process to strengthen the observer engagement in the UNFCCC, UNFCCC staff indicate that “Despite the efforts of developed country NGOs to nominate developing country participants, the statistics show that the proportion worsens when we look at the breakdowns by nationality.” At COP26, last year, 73% of the observers attending were from developed countries (per graph, page 8 of the referenced report). UN data indicates that 30% of the world’s population is from developed countries.
The reasons why Africa and climate need to be an urgent global priority are abundant, as climate drives fire, drought, food insecurity, migration and more in many countries. In terms of climate negotiations, Africa’s situation is explained well by Harsen Nyambe, director of sustainable environment at the African Union Commission, saying “How much funding Africa gets is the biggest factor for how prepared it will be for a hotter future.” He goes on to say, “We recall the $100 billion that was promised has never been fulfilled and current assessments show that even that amount is not enough.” The $100 billion is a reference to the 2009, Copenhagen COP climate finance pledge. These quotes and the context are drawn from a Time Aug 2, 2022 article: African Countries Push For Rich Nations to Help Continent’s Climate Transition Ahead of COP27.
UMN’s Observer Delegation to Sharm El Sheikh for COP27 – 14 People Total
Given the disparate attendance statistics and climate impacts noted above, UMN will prioritize the attendance of Africans and members of the African diaspora.
This form is required for University of Minnesota community members interested in attending COP27, related UNFCCC meetings, future COP sesions (COP27, etc.), unofficial events affiliated with the COP sessions (such as programs for “civil society” that are hosted by the country hosting the COP) or related meetings.
Form Does Not Guarantee Attendance at COP27
Filling out this form is necessary to attend a COP as a part of a UMN delegation, but does not guarantee attendance, as delegation size is strictly limited by the UNFCCC.
Be aware of a possibility of Covid-19 spread or other disruptions affecting COP27. COP meetings in the past have drawn well over 20,000 people together. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
UMN COP27 Travelers Must Register in the UMN “International Travel Registry”
News on COP27
Livestreaming of many COP27 climate negotiation sessions will be freely available at https://unfccc.int during COP27. Coverage of UMN COP27 observer experiences will be available here, and through social media. Look here for an announcement on when the UMN observer delegation will be speaking on campus, upon their return.
The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report offers the global scientific consensus on climate change science.