My experience at COP28 has been overwhelming but life-changing. This course and culminating with the conference has been a highlight for the semester. I have learned a great deal about how international actors solve problems, an essential skill for my global health career. I have learned the complexities of reaching a consensus amidst the contrasting interests of varying parties. Despite not accomplishing the desired targets at the adjournment of the COP28, it offers avenues of what to pursue next.

One of the reasons for attending COP28 was to develop research skills. I met different researchers conducting various observational studies to identify how high heat influences maternal morbidity and how particulate matter has led to the emergence of respiratory illnesses. It was inspiring to witness the amazing work other researchers have already conducted. However, significant gaps still exist to address and explore the link between climate and health. With the several connections made, I have support in my search to study climate factors that influence MI patients.

The clients I worked with at the conference were amazing! The Global Climate and Health Alliance was one of the leading health organizations in the health and climate space. They were committed to tracking gaps in the negoatiations and reaching out to countries to pursue them in the right direction. Much more work is needed in advocacy and outreach, and I would like to continue working with them to fulfill their mission. RTI International has impactful interventions in the climate and health space. It would be a great organization to be affiliated with to learn how impactful I can be in adaptation and mitigation.

The final results of the negotiations at this conference sadden many people’s hearts. Despite all the overwhelming evidence, parties were still reluctant to take strict measures to phase out fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the passion of the health delegates, indigenous communities, and youth was encouraging. We will keep fighting for what is right!

Lastly, the climate space is vast, and several avenues exist for making a difference. While still uncertain about my role here, I will utilize the network, clients, and skills I have learned to figure out my next step. The climate and health space is novel to many health workers; my role is significant in spreading awareness, influencing policies, and designing impactful interventions. Let us see where this road will lead!