Funding from the RCI Student Support Fund enabled Katherine Cann, a PhD student in the Department of Geography, to attend the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022. At COP27, Katherine was able to see firsthand the complex process of international climate negotiations between world leaders and national climate delegations. “It was an incredible experience to witness how international climate policy gets made, and to see activists from around the world come together to lead a global push for climate justice,” said Cann, in reference to advocacy that led to a landmark announcement from the international community to establish a loss and damage fund dedicated to climate finance in vulnerable countries at COP27.
In addition to observing negotiations, Katherine met with educators from universities across the United States and other countries to learn about strategies for bringing climate education into university curriculums and encouraging student-led climate action on campus. She also attended several side events where researchers and local government leaders shared best practices for urban-centered mitigation and adaptation projects, lessons she will bring back to her research on coastal adaptation interventions on the Jersey Shore.