International Climate Governance: IU Delegation to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change How is international climate policy negotiated and implemented? In this travel course, students form the Indiana University student delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We learn about the key components of the Paris Agreement, including their historical originations, their interpretations in case studies preceding the agreement, and in the document and its implementation. We learn about how people negotiate these issues in the two weeks that the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) convenes by participating in these meetings.
The course is loosely structured around the Articles of the Paris Agreement, with forays into how marginalized people, cultures, and groups are included (or not) in climate policy as well as a unit of Paris Agreement critiques. As a primer, we will read most of The Paris Agreement on Climate Change: Analysis and Commentary as a pragmatic introduction to the Articles. We will enhance this with more expansive academic and media analysis of the conceptual underpinnings of the Articles to the Agreement.
Student delegates are responsible for sharpening their expertise on a particular climate issue identified in their application materials. These topics of focus will anchor preparations for the COP, requiring students to compile an annotated bibliography, analyze a Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, construct a White Paper, and brief the class ahead of the meetings.
The seminar also prepares students for effective and meaningful participation as a delegate to the UNFCCC, including navigating the venue, scheduling time, and interacting with other delegates and dignitaries. While at the COP, students keep a daily record of observations and complete a final report.
By the completion of the course, students should have knowledge of the Paris Agreement and how it is negotiated and implemented in practice, a solid set of skills and ideas related to your climate topic, and to be able to analyze the cultural and political practices of the UNFCCC.