BC delegates reflect on their experience at COP26 – The Heights

Boston College faculty and students return to campus with many new insights and perspectives on environmental policy You are invited First to COP-26 in Glasgow, Ireland.

COP-26. Hosted by the United Nations Annual Conference on Climate Change 25,000 people and 120 heads of state this year.

Negotiations, panels, and presentations focused on climate change policy from October 31 to November 12, along with other top research universities.

Philip Landrigan, director of BC Global Public Health Program and director of international pollution protection, helped organize the BC delegation. He said the BC invitation was not only important for recognition as a research university, but also for the teachers and students who attended the conference.

“It was a unique learning experience for both the faculty and the Boston College students who were there. It’s great to breathe the same atmosphere as those who make these decisions,” he said.

Julia Horchos, MCAS ’23, is one of the students who attended the conference. When she learned that BC would be available a month before the conference, she said there was a fight to coordinate all plans.

There were about 30,000 people rushing to Glasgow, the largest city in Glasgow, to get accommodation for two weeks, so another student and I stayed in Edinburgh and took the train every day. ”

The BC delegation is divided into two groups, one in the first week and one in the second. The first day of the conference was a spectacular one, with political science professor David Disse, leading the second week of the delegation: Tens of thousands of protesters called on leaders on the streets of Glasgow to make effective climate policy decisions.

“The first day was a really emotional roller coaster,” said Dessie. “When we arrived in Glasgow, there were well-meaning protesters everywhere. They were very peaceful, but very small. And ‘Where am I? Should I join the opposition or should I remain in the congregation? ‘

The first two days of the conference were attended by leaders such as President Joe Biden and Prince Charles. Horschos said it was “regrettable” that he had not been allowed to attend those meetings, which were attended by observers.

“It was marketed as a universal opportunity, and when it came to it, a lot of people who needed to be heard – most young people – could not attend those meetings. There is something frustrating.”

December was a surprise for the conference because of the variety of events to choose from. They had their own tents, where different nations and non-governmental organizations met and discussed various subjects.

“Once we got in, there was a lot of emotional pressure,” said Dessie. There were many tents set up in different lands. [and] Lots of different nonprofits. Every day there were dozens and dozens of presentations and panels and briefings.

Cynthia Ma, MCAS ’22, applied to attend the conference because, as a major environmental researcher, her focus is on the environment and health, and she thinks it will be a good opportunity to see how policy development in this area will work. It happens globally.

“I chose to focus on environmental health because there are so many things going on,” she says. “So I went to a World Health Organization tent and [Sustainable Development Goal 7] Tent ”

She says the tent is attractive to her because it focuses on health, energy, and gender. The event discussed indoor air pollution in developing countries, which is a topic for discussion.

Landrigan appeared at a conference on ocean pollution, and the congregation was moved by his interest.

“I would like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of one of my most beloved and influential audiences,” Landrigan said. And hopefully this is the best way to make a difference by putting this information in front of world policymakers.

Although he acknowledged that the outcome of the conference would not be a quick solution to the climate change crisis, he acknowledged that some improvements had been made.

“The way I see it, Glasgow will not be the end of climate change and it will not solve all the problems because there will be no activity for the next four years in Glasgow – but I think a lot has been improved,” he said. Some would argue that not enough has been done, but I think if we continue to elevate everything this year, things could change.

Landrigan echoed Horcho’s idea, saying that some important steps were ahead but not as much as possible.

“Progress has been made but not as much as most of us would like,” he said.

Despite the immediate results, Ma said he thought the conference itself was crucial.

“Climate change and environmental health are global issues, so it’s important for all countries to come together and have a forum for cooperation.”

Dessie said he and his colleagues look forward to presenting what they have learned to a wider BC audience.

“The faculty will provide an in-depth understanding of what the overall process will look like, and I hope that this will refine their courses, their work with their students, supervisory papers and courses, and offer some new courses,” he said.

According to Dessie, the leaders of the BC delegation are scheduled to begin planning their presence at the next COP conference in January.


Thank you very much for attending the first COP Conference in BC.

“It was great to be part of BC’s first trip to this overall event,” she said. “And I know BC is well-prepared for future conferences, and this is very exciting because we can build on networks.”

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Media

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