World leaders in Paris are in the midst of high-stakes negotiations aimed at slowing the pace of global climate change.
“A political moment like this may not come again,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told leaders gathered for the conference last week.
Forty thousand delegates from 195 countries are attending the Conference of Parties (COP21). The participants are trying to agree on legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to hold global average temperatures short of a two degree Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.
For those who know her, it’s not surprising that GMC adjunct faculty member Mindy Blank ’10 is in the midst of discussions. She is attending the talks as a project coordinator for HELIO International, a Paris-based non-profit that helps nations transition towards a low-carbon based economy by developing long-term sustainable, economically feasible alternatives.
Mindy Blank earned a master’s degree from Vermont Law School after graduating from GMC in 2010. She spent time in Paris working for the International Energy Agency, helping countries accelerate the deployment if renewable energy and energy efficiency technology. She is consulting with HELIOS International in addition to her teaching duties at GMC this semester.
“I hope to see government from every country in the world come to agreement on a mechanism for achieving a sustainable energy future,” Mindy said in an interview before leaving for Paris last week.
We’ve been compiling dispatches on the talks for the College’s COP21 web page. Visit the page to get day-by-day updates of COP21 topics and some of Mandy’s first-hand impressions.