LMU Faculty Delegation Participates in COP28 as UN Observers

LMU Faculty Members Attend COP28 Conference in Dubai

Recently, three LMU faculty members had the privilege of attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Melissa Fitzpatrick, Tyler Harlan, and Rebecca Wall represented the university at COP28, engaging in discussions, exploring solutions, and building partnerships on a global scale. This conference, which took place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2023, was the largest iteration yet, with approximately 85,000 participants in attendance.

Melissa Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor of management, expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to participate in COP28 and contribute to finding solutions for one of humanity’s biggest challenges. As someone whose research focuses on ethics and sustainability, Fitzpatrick found the experience both inspirational and humbling as theory translated into practice on a global stage.

COP conferences like COP28 are vital annual gatherings where world leaders, scientists, and activists convene to address climate change issues. These conferences serve as the primary global platform for multilateral decision-making on climate change, involving participation from almost all countries worldwide.

LMU’s involvement in COP28 marked a significant milestone for the institution, showcasing its dedication to global sustainability and environmental stewardship. The university was granted non-governmental observer status by the UNFCCC in 2020, allowing the LMU community to actively participate in international climate change dialogues.

With insights gained from COP28, faculty members have shared their experiences with the LMU community through events like the “Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor: The Issue of Water” symposium. The symposium featured discussions led by faculty members who shared their perspectives on the official proceedings and conversations held at COP28 with climate experts, government officials, and activists.

Looking ahead, LMU plans to continue its active participation in future U.N. climate change conferences by sending delegations to events like COP29, scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan in November. Funding for these delegations is provided by the Global-Local Affairs and the Provost’s Office, with plans to announce nominations for COP29 participants in April.

LMU’s involvement in COP28 and its commitment to global engagement and sustainability highlight the university’s pioneering spirit in addressing pressing environmental challenges. The institution’s dedication to fostering a culture of innovation and responsibility among its community members sets a precedent for how academic institutions can contribute to the global dialogue on climate change.