Mercy Mondays: Apply for Salve’s delegation at the UN’s annual climate conference, COP28
In Nov. 2021 and Nov. 2022, Salve Regina sent delegations to the annual international climate summit hosted by the United Nations (UN), entitled the Conference of Parties (COP26 and COP27). The four delegates who went to COP27 recently hosted a reflective COP27 roundtable to participate in the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice, which was well received on campus.
Now, Salve Regina is searching for students, staff and faculty to join its COP28 delegation for this upcoming academic year.
Salve Regina’s relationship with the United Nations
Salve Regina became an observer organization to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) thanks to the advocacy of Dr. Peter Liotta, the former executive director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.
Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, Salve Regina’s president, renewed the University’s UNFCCC membership in 2019. Through a partnership with Salve Regina alumna Colleen Swain ’16, ’17 (M) of Mercy Global Action, Salve Regina was granted NGO observer status to attend COP.
Salve Regina’s delegation advocated for climate justice at both COP26 and COP27 by supporting Mercy Global Action partners’ position statement on loss and damage.
Cailin Martin’s delegate experience
Cailin Martin ’23 was humbled and honored to represent Salve Regina at COP27.
“As an environmental studies major, it was a dream come true to actively participate in the United Nations’ global climate summit,” she said. “I attended four days of the conference that applied themes from the Critical Concerns of Mercy and my classes: Women and Gender Day, Energy Day, Biodiversity Day and Solutions Day.”
The greatest challenge was choosing which events to attend, according to Martin. There were over 300 topics and 2,000 speakers during the conference. She chose to focus on loss and damage events hosted by marginalized communities because of the unique opportunity COP presented to learn from people leading creative and scientific sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.
“Indigenous community leaders, women and youth climate justice activists at COP27 taught me a lifelong lesson: think globally, act locally,” said Martin. “Climate change is a human and environmental health crisis. As global citizens, it is important to stay informed and support our political representatives on climate justice policy. However, it is of utmost importance to exercise our personal power by using our unique knowledge and skills to care for our local community.”
Martin urges the University’s community members to consider supporting local nonprofits and volunteering for organizations such as Salve Regina’s service partners like Aquidneck Land Trust, Aquidneck Community Table, Clean Ocean Access, Newport Tree Conservancy, Norman Bird Sanctuary and Save the Bay.
“My most valuable takeaway from COP was the fact we can all foster change at local levels without having a seat at decision making tables,” she said.
Apply for the COP28 Delegation
If a student, staff or faculty member is interested in learning about climate justice from global leaders of businesses, communities, indigenous tribes, law firms, NGOs, politicians, scientists and universities, then COP28 might be a perfect opportunity.
Students, staff and faculty can apply to join the delegation in Expo City in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for COP28 — which will run from Nov. 30 through Dec. 12. Interested community members must complete the interest form for consideration to become a COP28 delegate by Monday, May 15.
The UNFCCC notifies the University of its delegate allotment during the summer. Once resources are assessed, potential candidates will be contacted.
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.