Right now, sixteen U of M students are attending the UN Climate Change Conference negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. They are official observers of negotiations by world leaders who are working toward long-term action to address climate change. Beth Mercer-Taylor, coordinator of the sustainability studies minor at the U of M said, "By being immersed in the negotiations, these students will gain a better understanding of the impacts of climate change, learn about laws and policies relating to climate change, and have a chance to analyze the intersection of local, national and international carbon policies and negotiations."
In fact, seven of these students are pursuing a sustainability studies minor here. They are all enrolled in a climate change policy course co-taught by state Senator Ellen Anderson, chair of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division Committee, and state Rep. Kate Knuth, who was part of a delegation attending the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen.
These students represent a wide variety of majors, from civil engineering and conservation biology to landscape architecture and political science, and represent six different colleges at the U of M. During the conference, they are keeping a blog of their experiences. Check it out!
On December 9, the student delegation will host a public forum to share and discuss their experiences. It will from 3-4 p.m. at the Institute on the Environment in 380 VoTech Building on the U of M's St. Paul campus. It is free and open to the public!