Students Against Climate Change

By Kate Pipkin

illustration of a prairie landscape

Two undergraduates from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences were among eight student delegates selected to represent the American Chemical Society at this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Held in early November in Morocco, the convention focused on how to implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to set an internationally binding emission reduction target by 2020.

Mira Sobhy ’18, who is majoring in earth and planetary sciences, and Hannah Melton ’17 served as student ambassadors at the convention, sharing information via social media.

The students contributed to a climate-change blog, which can be accessed on the Students on Climate Change website.

“A lot of people still view climate change as a problem for tomorrow,” says Melton, who is majoring in global environmental change and sustainability. “Even if you are aware of the issues and threats posed by climbing global temperatures, it’s easy to be oblivious to the fact that many people are already dealing with these problems. For instance, communities in the Solomon Islands are already facing relocation due to rising sea levels.”

Sobhy agreed that misconceptions exist about climate change. “People think it’s too late to change our habits and the adverse effects we have caused our planet to face, but a failure in preventing further global warming will eventually cause a major economic collapse and lead to massive food and water shortages.”

Both students plan to attend the national conference of the American Chemical Society in April to talk about their experiences in Morocco.