Simon Fraser University (SFU) will send its first official delegation to the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The formal delegation will consist of seven members from SFU, a mix of staff and students who have been involved in the climate justice fight in their own communities.
SFU has a long history of working on climate issues but this the first time the university will send a formal delegation, said Dugan O'Neil, SFU's vice-president of research and international — though in the past, members from the Centre for Dialogue have participated independently.
O'Neil said the conference is an exciting opportunity for students and staff to learn how climate negotiations take place, to connect with other global organizations, to listen, learn and bring back the lessons learned to future conferences.
The conference helps to “focus the conversation in the community locally, and in our university," he said. "So it is important to take advantage of those opportunities.”
The global world summit will bring together environmental advocates and leaders from around the world for discussions about climate action.
Delegates will gather in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, when COP27 convenes from Nov. 6 to 18. The delegation from SFU will participate in the conference with other Canadian institutions to learn about how people are tackling the climate crisis, and also use their knowledge in B.C. and further afield.
SFU has been involved in extensive climate-change research, and O’Neil hopes to bring the fruits of that research to the conference.
While the conference has been criticized because “it focuses on talking as opposed to taking action,” he said discussion is “crucial to figuring out the best way to make changes and supporting each other in making those changes.”
“I really look forward to both action and talking as we go forward and try to to battle the climate crisis.”
SFU's delegation to COP27:
Dugan O'Neil, vice-president, research and international
Candace Ratelle-Le Roy, executive director, SFU sustainability
Kayla Blok, associate director, SFU sustainability
Jude Crasta, program manager, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Elodie Jacquet, knowledge and practice manager, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Skye Noh, BBA sustainable business, SFU 350 member
Paige Hunter, resource and environmental management, SFU 350 member, research assistant, Action on Climate Team