In November, six students from the Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s postgraduate degree programme participated in the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, also known as COP 23. Attending the conference as part of the UAE’s youth delegation gave the students privileged access to the world’s largest intergovernmental negotiating process. On Wednesday, 29 November, they shared their experience with other EDA students and faculty.
During the event, held at EDA, the students reflected on the complexity of these negotiations, which take place among 196 countries every year and address more than 100 different issues related to national climate action and international cooperation to tackle the challenge. They also shared with their colleagues examples of innovative climate action in different areas, including cities, water and youth engagement. These examples drew from the students’ participation in the dozens of panel presentations and other special events taking place at COPs where policymakers, experts, businesses, investors and civil society convene to share information and lessons learned.
The trip to Bonn was part of a special course on ‘UN Climate Change Negotiations’, offered at EDA annually, during which a selected group of students learn about multilateral climate diplomacy in theory and practice. The course comprises preparatory classes, simulations and workshops, and culminates in a one-week trip to the COP where the students observe the negotiations, attend expert events and produce reports for the national delegation on sessions they attend. In addition to learning about multilateral diplomatic skills, the students also practice their networking and communication skills by observing negotiating group coordination meetings and participating in panel discussions. The course also includes a follow-up component, during which the participants share their experience at various youth events and prepare a report with policy recommendations to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
The UN Climate Change Negotiations course are part of the EDA’s research and training activities in the area of ‘Energy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development,’ which also include stakeholder workshops and policy briefs published throughout the year. For more information on the EDA’s research in this area, see: http://eda.ac.ae/research/research-analysis-overview/energy-climate-change-and-sustainable-development