Eliot Martin, a graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, provides insight into the events at COP24 in the Indonesia Pavilion. Eliot states that, “Indonesia now finds itself in a no-win position with a commodity that has become the backbone of its rural economy,” in regards to the extensive palm oil production occurring in the country.
Allison Meyer, a graduate student at Tufts University in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, writes about her first week at the COP24, emphasizing that the least privileged people are often the ones most affected by the effects of climate change. In particular, Allison discusses a panel she attended that focused on the displacement, loss of home, and loss of culture for the people of Tuvalu and indigenous communities in Alaska.
Helen Mizrach, an undergraduate student studying Biopsychology with a minor in Food Systems and Nutrition at the School of Arts and Sciences, describes her first day at the COP 24. Helen provides details on the opening ceremony, the inauguration of the Climate Action Hub, a compelling discussion about the intersection of religion and climate change by Gyalwang Drupka, and a workshop on agriculture.
Fletcher student, Grace Tamble, discusses her third day at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, Poland. Grace describes attending a hearing from IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, as well as other events that focused on the theme of energy transition, while also mentioning Katowice’s deep history of coal mining and its impact.
UNDP was very flexible and I got a chance to work on India’s market based mechanism, the PAT Scheme that seeks to improve energy efficiency, which consequently results in emissions reduction. Courses on climate change policy, energy finance and environmental policy solving that I had taken at the Fletcher School were instrumental in the work that I eventually undertook. I was assisting in providing policy briefs that looked at the expansion of the PAT model to other sectors of the Indian economy while making the targets for the existing designated consumers even more stringent.
Overcoming the resulting economic burdens is an increasingly steep hill to climb. Local businesses are constantly adapting to climate variability. Important fish stocks are migrating out of reach as a result of changing temperatures in the water. Droughts are occurring for longer stretches of time although the area’s leading export and staple crop, taro, begins to wither in as little as two weeks without rain. Inconsistent rainfall patterns are leading to less predictable outbreak periods of vector-borne diseases such as Dengue and Zika.