As America was electing its new president in November — and potentially charting a new course in the climate action movement — five students and five faculty members from Drexel were in Morocco for the world’s biggest annual climate change conference.
For the second year in a row, Drexel obtained observer status at the conference, which allowed the group to attend meetings, panels and presentations and report on the action taken by the international delegates at COP22. Drexel was one of only a few dozen universities observing at COP22, after having demonstrated expertise and prior research in the interdisciplinary areas affected by climate change and being granted permanent observer status after COP21.
Despite any concerns he had about the United States’ future contributions to the fight against global warming, Franco Montalto says attending the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was reinvigorating.
“It reminded me again that the climate action movement is now a worldwide phenomenon,” says Montalto, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and the director of the new North American Hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network at Drexel.
Montalto and his Drexel colleagues were part of an envoy put together by the Office of International Programs and the Institute for Energy and the Environment.
The Drexel delegation at COP22 included Franco Montalto, Stephanie Miller, Samantha Rachko, Lauren Smalls-Mantey and Hugh Johnson.