U of T Environment students chosen to attend COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 4:20:00 PM

opening ceremonies  students using pedalpower

COP21 photos from https://twitter.com/COP21UTStudents. Left: opening ceremonies of climate generations area.  Right: U of T students Sophie Guilbault and Christelle Broux use pedal power at COP21 exhibit.


Six University of Toronto students, five of whom are official delegates, are attending the UNFCCC COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris, France taking place from November 30 – December 11, 2015. The six students were chosen from among 58 applicants, using a comprehensive range of selection criteria related to their academic background, knowledge of climate change, relevant practical skills, and active involvement with climate change issues.

student delegates
U of T students attending COP 21 from left to right Keven Roy, Sophie Guilbault, Larissa Parker, Christelle Broux, Xia Alice Zhu, and Alissa Saieva (photo: Mira Kanaan)

Three of the six students are undergraduates enrolled in School of the Environment programs, one student is an Environmental Studies alumna who is now in law school at U of T, and the other two are graduate students enrolled in the School’s Collaborative Program in Environmental Studies. The six students are: 

  1. Christelle Broux, 4th year, BSc (Hons.) student, Environment & Science and Physical & Environmental Geography majors, Environmental Studies minor;
  2. Larissa Parker, 4th year, BA (Hons.) student, Environmental Studies and Ethics, Society & the Law majors, Political Science minor;
  3. Xia (Alice) Zhu, 3rd year, BSc student, Environmental Chemistry Specialist;
  4. Alissa Saieva, JD student, Certificate in Environmental studies and Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies, Faculty of Law; BA (Hons.) alumna, Environmental Studies and Political Science majors;
  5. Sophie Guilbault, PhD candidate, Planning program and School of the Environment; and
  6. Keven Roy, PhD candidate, Physics and School of the Environment.

We are student delegates from the University of Toronto who are reporting on undertakings at the upcoming COP21 conference, taking place in Paris from Nov. 30th - Dec. 11th. We are posting resources and articles of interest regularly on our dedicated blog and multiple social media platforms. Our aim is to actively represent the voices of students and future generations by connecting with other COP21 attendees during the conference to build a strong exchange network for climate initiatives. Leading up to COP21, we hope to stimulate student engagement through events and provide opportunities for discussion on a number of relevant topics. Following the outcome of the conference, we hope to continue dialogue among students and further the climate change movement.” 
(from https://www.facebook.com/COP21UofTStudents).  

The students will be joined by Professor Stephen Scharper (Anthropology UTM and School of the Environment), who will be meeting with the students, as well as following the role of faith groups at the COP and how they are attempting to impact climate policy.

During the Fall 2015 term on the U of T campus, the delegates, with the assistance of other students, have also organized a series of documentary screenings about climate change issues, and a roundtable discussion evening, which brought together students and faculty to discuss climate change issues. During the winter 2016 term, the delegates will participate in a number of seminars on campus in order to discuss and analyze their experiences in Paris.

The School of the Environment will kick off its
Environment Seminar Series next term with a presentation by some of the delegates: “Report from Paris: U of T student delegates discuss their experiences at COP21”.  This will take place at 4 PM on January 13, 2016 in Earth Science room B149.  Stay tuned for more details.

The delegates can be followed
Blog: www.utcop21.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/COP21UofTStudents
Twitter at: @cop21utstudents

Other articles and updates:

Also read the November 30 article in The Varsity student newspaper: U of T delegates head to Paris for COP21: student hope to gain better understanding of climate change.

Also read the December 2 article at U of T News website: Climate change: U of T experts head to Paris for COP21 conference: Matthew Hoffmann, Stephen Scharper and Danny Harvey on the global challenges ahead