McDonnell Scholars attend COP27
In November, two of our McDonnell Scholars attended the 27th Annual Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Ganesh Chelluboyina (EECE PhD) and Bea Addis (Anthropology PhD) share their insights on the complex nature of the climate crisis from a global and interdisciplinary perspective.
Ganesh’s reflections: “As a PhD student studying climate warming aerosols in the atmosphere and cryosphere, I was interested to see how the science of climate translated to policy action at multilateral conferences. I was able to get a ringside view of the negotiations on mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage. I also had informative conversations with prominent climate researchers and activists in the pavilions (set up by countries and major organizations). Although not much progress was made on the 1.5 degree warming target, at COP27 I witnessed history being made with the establishment of a loss and damage fund for developing countries. My participation at COP27 has motivated me to bridge the gap between climate science and climate policy, by advancing my own research in aerosols and effectively communicating it to the public.”
Bea’s reflections: “I was at COP27 both as a teaching assistant supporting a course on international climate negotiations and for my own long-term research on the local impact of global climate governance. People often ask if I am hopeful that the UNFCCC climate conferences will do enough to tackle climate change. Having attended two COPs now I am still in the process of learning, but I think that firstly, 197 countries representing vastly different cultures and interests attempting to advance global climate agreements together is an amazing achievement. However, it is also a highly political process, relying on a consensus mechanism to achieve ambitious targets (as demanded by the IPCC). There may be a limit to how much we can expect from COP. But being at the conference also reminds me of how many organisations, activists, businesses, etc. there are operating outside of political negotiations. I find hope in the many people aligned in their care for the environment and the socio-political issues connected to climate change.”