Environmental Special Topics: COP20 Observer Delegation
About This Class
This special topics course is open to law and policy students (JD, MELP, MERL, LLM) to do applied learning in international climate change law by representing Vermont Law School on our COP20 Observer Delegation to Lima, Peru in December, 2014. The course is organized around two components: a weekly class for the full semester and one week of on-site experiential learning at the Conference of Parties (COP). The weekly classes will prepare students for learning on-site at the COP, which runs from December 1 - 12, 2014. Students will research and write several short, analytical essays before attending COP20; blog and Tweet while on-site; and complete a final project on a chosen topic. Students will come away from the COP20 Observer Delegation with a deeper understanding of international environmental lawmaking informed by first-hand experience. During the on-site component in Lima, Peru, students will represent VLS as members of its Observer Delegation accredited by the United Nations. As such, they will be expected to comport themselves in an appropriate manner, attend all assigned COP sessions and side events, and contribute to the delegation's social media presence. Students agree that by registering for the course and being selected for the delegation, they will attend COP20 in December. Attendance at COP20 will require students to miss either the last week of classes or reading period and the first three days of exams. Students will work with Professor Bach to minimize the impact that their COP20 absence has on their other classes. Students will arrange and pay for their own travel expenses to and from Lima, Peru, scheduling their travel to arrive the day before their COP20 week begins and to depart after their COP20 week has finished. We will strive to keep our costs down by sharing a living space and meals; students can estimate up to $1500 for airfare, lodging, and shared meals (breakfast and dinner). Please note: The UNFCCC Secretariat limits our observer delegation to 5 student members per week or 10 students total. To stay within this limit, registered students will be selected for the delegation based on a combination of the following information: 1. relevant course work, such as International Law, International Environmental Law, and Climate Change and the Law (whether taught on campus or via distance learning); 2. an interview with Professor Bach; and 3. review of your VLS transcript and 1 VLS reference (this does not apply to most MELP, MERL, and LLM students).