A group of Washington University students will be in Germany to experience global negotiations on climate change.
The gathering of negotiators will be the first since President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
“Even though the president of the United States wants to pull out, the citizens and many cities and states are staying in it. I think that we can make a big difference without having the title of a ratified nation,” said Washington University senior Sarah Greenberg.
Greenberg is studying environmental policy. She said she’s excited to take part in the group discussion with government leaders and negotiators from around the world while in Germany.
Since 2011, the university has sent 42 students to be official delegates at the negations in countries like South Africa, Poland, France and Morocco.
It’s a dream come true for senior student Vanessa Wu.
“A lot of learning because there will be so much going on,” said Wu. “All these parties trying to work together but a lot of conflicts going on in the meetings I’d assume. It’ll be very interesting to see.”
Students will get a first-hand account with lead negotiators and witness how other countries deal with the side effects of climate change.
Earlier this year, Trump announced his plans to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump said he considers efforts to fight climate change a barrier to economic growth.
News 4 asked the associate director of the Climate Change Program at Washington University what does climate change mean for St. Louis.
“The impacts of climate change will be felt here in St. Louis and some of the things that we know that will be challenges here in the Midwest is, for example, increased flooding and increased drought and being able to have conversations,” said Director Beth Martin.
The agreement has locked the U.S. in the Paris agreement until November 2020.
The international negotiations begin on Monday in Bonn, Germany.
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