Taylor Smith MELP'14 recently traveled to Poland to attend the 19th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, an experience that led to an article in the Huffington Post and the experience of a lifetime.
Under the leadership of Tracy Bach, a longtime Vermont Law faculty member, Taylor and four other classmates formed a delegation to observe the 19th annual meeting of this conference. Known as the Conference of Parties (or COP), the two-week session offered Vermont Law students a first-hand look at how international environmental policy is proposed, negotiated, and (hopefully) resolved.
In addition to attending plenarys and press conference, Taylor and her classmates posted extensively to a Vermont Law blog on COP19. As a result of their extensive efforts The Huffington Post published a post on their work.
Taylor was also involved in covering some of COP19's debate concerning women and gender, and posted an article of the Vermont Law blog about the Women and Gender Constitutency at the COP.
The conference itself was a "partial success," according to one of the lead negotiators for India, because it maintained momentum for a global climate treated in 2015.
But for Taylor Smith and her classmates, the results were undeniable. Vermont Law students have been traveling to COP conferences since 2005, and are currently making plans to attend both COP20 in Peru and COP21 in Paris. They have been part of the global conversation about climate change, and will continue to be involved in the future.