United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention of the Parties (COP27)

This past week, I was sent to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, as an observer and member of Princeton University’s delegation at COP27. The trip was sponsored by Princeton’s Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment (C-PREE) and allowed me to sit in on climate negotiations, hear from phenomenal world leaders, speak to activists on the ground, and mull over more deeply the path I want my own career to take.

While the trip was daunting at first, our delegation soon found its footing and made the most of the atmosphere at COP. The pavilions were bustling and chaotic. There was a seemingly endless spread of panels, events, and meetings to attend. Negotiations proved an invaluable opportunity to experience international diplomacy firsthand. The input of my friends and colleagues on the trip greatly enriched my own thoughts and takeaways of the conference. Their experiences, along with my own, are briefly summarized on a blog hosted by C-PREE and will be made into a longer article to be published in the near future.

To me, the most rewarding aspect of COP was witnessing firsthand the full gamut of careers with strong climate impact. I encountered diplomats and activists not in isolation, but as members of a complex ecosystem of professionals across the public and private sectors. I return home with a better idea of how diplomacy and activism co-occur and with new perspectives on effective forces for change. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to incorporate these observations into my own life and plans moving forward.

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