The U.N. Climate Change Negotiations Practicum at Duke, now in its eighth year, is a hands-on course focusing on international climate change negotiations and policy under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This Bass Connections-affiliated course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the issues at the heart of global climate change, including adaptation, mitigation, policy, the negotiations process, and the political dynamics of the UNFCCC. Students engage in independent work, class discussions, and guest lectures throughout the course of the semester.
Through a semester-long collective project, students will get an in-depth look at the UNFCCC and the key topics surrounding U.N. climate negotiations, which will be held in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017. Depending on accreditation, students will likely have the opportunity to attend this year’s negotiations. As part of their coursework prior to the negotiations, students will support an NGO and/or country delegation. This unique opportunity provides undergraduate and graduate students with the chance to experience climate negotiations first-hand, gaining deep climate change policy expertise and valuable networking connections.
Over the past seven years, Practicum participants have attended COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco; COP 21 in Paris, France; COP20 in Lima, Peru; COP19 in Warsaw, Poland; COP18 in Doha, Qatar; COP17 in Durban, South Africa; and COP16 in Cancún, Mexico. Student teams have worked with countries (such as Palau, Bangladesh, Mexico, and the Philippines) and NGOs (such as NRDC, the World Resources Institute, Climate Analytics, Islands First, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)).
Participation in this year’s Practicum is open to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students at Duke University. The faculty sponsors for the course are Professors Jonathan Wiener and Billy Pizer, and course leaders are Nicholas School master’s students Adam Fischer and Ryan Callihan. Applications will open in early August for enrollment in the Fall 2017 semester. Please sign up here for updates regarding the application process.