Dr. David Baker, Austin College professor of physics, will speak on Tuesday, November 29, at 12:30 p.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231, about his experiences as an official observer at the United Nations Climate Summit in Egypt earlier this month. The presentation is free and open to the public.
At the conference, nations come together to act toward achieving the world’s collective climate goals as prescribed under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Baker had access to the COP27 “Blue Zone” sessions, where heads of state and environmental ministers negotiate policy concerning various climate issues. He also was able to engage through the “Green Zone” where lobbyists, activists, and exhibitors pitched their interests. Policy goals on the agenda include climate finance, resilience and agriculture, and local communities.
Baker applied in August 2022 for Austin College to be granted official observer status as a research or educational institution, a process that takes 10 months for approval. He was able to attend the 2022 conference through an access exchange system that allows institutions with unused passes to designate them to another individual upon request. Baker received a pass from Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Once Austin College is granted official observer status, Baker expects to select six students per year to attend the conference, starting with the 2023 event in the United Arab Emirates. “Experiencing the climate conference in person fits with Austin College’s mission for global learning and service, and our students will bring back what they’ve learned so they can make a difference by sharing their knowledge about climate action,” said Baker, the Donald MacGregor Chair in Natural Science at Austin College.