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Monash delegation heads to global climate change summit

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More than 20 Monash staff and students are heading to Poland to attend the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24).

Representing seven faculties, cross-University institutes, Buildings and Property and Enterprise areas of the University, the delegation will be working to showcase and expand Monash’s world-leading climate change research and activities, including our award-winning Net Zero initiative, on the global stage.

The conference (also known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP) is the most significant annual global climate change event. It includes high-level negotiations on the global climate change agreement (the Paris Agreement), as well as an extensive program of side events on every aspect of climate change action.

It’s attended by thousands of representatives and senior government ministers from around the world, as well as industry and corporate representatives from the energy, technology and finance sectors, and other leading academic institutions.

"Our continued involvement in this forum facilitates broad, interdisciplinary engagement on a global scale; that builds on the contribution and insight of staff and students from across the University. We wish the delegates well," said Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Global Engagement).

This is Monash’s third and largest delegation to the annual event, with the University’s involvement overseen by the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) and the Office of Global Engagement.

“For the last two years, MSDI and Global Engagement have been working with climate change stakeholders across the University to identify how to make the most of this massive and high-profile event," said Professor Rod Glover, MSDI's Interim Director. "Thanks to this fantastic collaborative effort, this year we have been able to take Monash’s participation to the next level."

Among the activities planned, the delegation is hosting a booth, arranging a “meet our expert” program, speaking at a wide range of side events, and posting daily reports on its activities. Find out more here.

Rowena Cantley-Smith, head of the delegation, said: “As the window for action on limiting global temperature rises closes, the international negotiations at this year’s COP will be critical to ensuring the full transformational potential of the Paris Agreement is realised. It’s a tremendous privilege to be part of this change process, and hopefully witness a significant step forward in global action on climate change.”

A highlight of COP24 will be the series of celebration events to recognise the Net Zero initiative as a winner of the 2018 Momentum for Change Award.

The University’s Deputy Chancellor, Shane Buggle, who’ll be accepting the award in Poland, said: “At Monash, we are proud to have been recognised as one of the world’s most practical, scalable and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments and industries are doing to tackle climate change.”

Follow #MonashCOP24 on social media to hear from the delegation during the conference.

Get involved through the recently launched UN People’s Voices to Be Heard initiative, #TakeYourSeat