From November 6 to 18, the delegates will be attending the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Assistant professor in Asian studies Dr. Pasang Sherpa, clinical assistant professor in the School of Population and Public Health Dr. Shannon Waters, geography professor Dr. Simon Donner and educational studies professor Dr. Vanessa Andreotti will be among UBC’s faculty representatives.
A wide range of disciplines will be featured in this year’s delegation and serve to highlight the unique goals and perspectives of each participant.
Waters is attending COP27 with issues of public health and Indigeneity in mind as a doctor and member of Stz’uminus First Nation.
“I think Canada is lagging behind a lot of other countries in terms of its commitment, and funding of work, to climate change mitigation and adaptation. I believe that Canada has to ramp up its prioritization and funding to this critical health issue urgently,” she wrote in a statement to The Ubyssey.
Masters of electrical and computer engineering student Gideon Berry, PhD candidate in the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries Verónica Relaño Écija, third-year international economics student Abul Bashar Rahman and PhD student in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability Rudri Bhatt have been selected as UBC’s student representatives.
Berry told The Ubyssey that they hope to advocate for youth voices and clean energy solutions at the conference. While they began their studies in engineering physics at UBC, Berry has since transitioned to a focus on electrical engineering and energy systems.
“With the climate crisis getting ever closer to the 2030 requirements to decarbonize, and all the targets not being met over and over again — it filled me with so much dread,” they said.
Berry said they aim to support student voices and education well into their career.
“I want to actually become a faculty member eventually … where I can actually be the professor who encourages students to be involved in the communities, who can incorporate interdisciplinary [subjects] for them in their fields,” said Berry.
The delegates aim to advocate for student interests at the conference and have compiled a feedback form to better understand community priorities. Before the conference commences, the delegates will interpret the data to inform their platform.
Berry noted that one area of concern across UBC community members involves human rights issues in Egypt.
The conference’s host country has drawn scrutiny for suppressing the voices of activists and critics. Earlier in October, UBC’s Centre for Climate Justice hosted an event with investigative journalism outlet The Intercept on the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists like Alaa Abd El Fattah.
“I really hope that the [Egyptian] government is held accountable, and they don’t get away with just using this opportunity to be the face of the Global South … with activists in prisons and in horrible conditions,” said Berry.
An earlier version of this article misspelled Abul Bashar Rahman’s name. The Ubyssey regrets this error.