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News Release

Vermont Law and Graduate School Student Delegation Attends COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Tuesday, December 13, 2022


VLGS is an accredited "observer" of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 convened in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last month with a focus on an aggressive implementation of the Paris Agreement. Two groups of Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) student delegates had the great opportunity of attending in-person and joining the delegation of the Republic of Palau to provide logistical and analytical support.

VLGS is an accredited "observer" of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The VLGS delegation to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt was led by Derek Walker, Adjunct Professor in International Climate Change Law, and Vice President for the U.S. Region at Environmental Defense Fund.

The trip was a required component of VLGS's International Climate Change Law course, one of several field study courses under the Tuholske Institute for Environmental Field Studies, an initiative of VLGS’ Environmental Law Center. The Institute's experiential education opportunities equip students to advance environmental protection. The funding for the trip was made possible through grant money from the Environmental Law Center to support the mission of the Tuholske Institute for Environmental Field Studies.

“VLGS gives students a front-row seat to negotiations that are as critical as they are complex,” Walker said. “Working with a small island state, Palau, really brought home the reality that climate change impacts are a life-or-death issue for so many people, communities, and cultures around the world. The students brought intense curiosity and infectious energy to their work, and it was an immense privilege to work alongside these future leaders as they immersed themselves in the COP experience.”

Walker and the students launched the blog Ridges to Reefs: COP27 to share their thoughts and experiences at the conference. In the blog the VLGS delegation addresses key issues and complex topics such as Advantages and Disadvantages of the Paris Agreement’s Legal Structure and Who Should Foot the Bill?: The Role of Developed Countries in Meeting the Paris Agreement’s Temperature Goals.


About Vermont Law and Graduate School: Vermont Law and Graduate School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s premier environmental law program. The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center, South Royalton Legal Clinic, Environmental Advocacy Clinic, Energy Clinic, Food and Agriculture Clinic, Environmental Justice Clinic, and Center for Justice Reform. For more information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.