The Vermont Cynic

Student talks about climate change in Paris


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A UVM student presented in front hundreds of scholars and world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss climate change.

The 21st conference of the parties, also known as COP21 is the yearly meeting where countries speak about plans to end climate change, according to the conference’s website.

Beginning Nov. 30 and lasting through Dec. 11, UVM professors Jennie Stevens, Lini Wollenburg and Asim Zia and sophomore Gina Fiorile will be attending COP 21 in  Le Bourget, France.

“The past week has been truly incredible,” said Fiorile, who is currently in Paris.

Everyday provides new ideas from new organizations, she said.

“It’s been inspiring to see how so many NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and nonprofits have come together to form a united and cohesive voice and I’m hopeful that our world leaders will take heed of our message,” Fiorile said.

She presented two events at the convention, she said.

Anyone is allowed to attend the conference, Wollenberg said.

The conference centers around an  interaction between organizations and world leaders, said Fiorile.

“There are hundreds of leaders meeting in one area, and outside of that, there are tons of organizations and nonprofits that are putting on different events to send a message to the people making the negotiations,” she said.

The agenda for the conference includes a day for youth, a day for gender and a day for race, Fiorile said.

“There will be tons of voices represented,” she said.

Wollenberg said she is hopeful that the convention will deliver progressive results.

“Hopefully [the outcome will be a] binding agreement on emissions reductions by countries and the finance to help this happen,” Wollenberg said.

The conference is a part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s agreement signed in 1992, she said.

“This meeting is special because it will be the second effort to create a binding agreement among countries,” Wollenberg said.

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Student talks about climate change in Paris