UNFCCC COP-17 - Durban, South Africa

The Seventeenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Seventh Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC was held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 10, 2011. WCL Students Braunson Virjee, Emmett Pepper, and Ashley Gardana, led by Program Coordinator Erika Lennon participated in COP-17 by supporting the work of the Center for International Environmental Law. Additionally, Zugeilly Coss, a LL.M. student in the International Legal Studies Program, participated in COP-17 as a member of the Dominican Republic delegation.




Third year law students, Emmett Pepper, Ashley Gardana, and Braunson Virjee in Plenary King Protea at COP-17 in Durban, South Africa.









Right: Ashley Gardana and Emmett Pepper hard at work in the halls of the International Conference Center (ICC) during a break in between meetings.








Left: Ashley Gardana, Emmett Pepper, and Erika Lennon with members of the Dominican Republic delegation including LL.M. student Zugeilly Coss in one of the many outdoor areas within the conference complex.



Left: A stocktaking plenary in the large Plenary Baobob, where parties spent long nights discussing draft texts and NGOs spent long nights patiently waiting, listening, and strategizing.








Right: Program Coordinator Erika Lennon enjoys a reception celebrating the Momentum for Change initiative. In the background, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres enjoys the celebration with friends.







Above: Enjoying the nature of South Africa and remembering the animals and environment that we are all working so hard to fight for in the fight against the dangerous consequences of climate change. Had a chance to see zebra (left) and upside-down birds' nests.



Left: A pleasant way to start the day before going to the ICC is waking up and seeing monkeys outside of our cottage.



Right: Ashley Gardana with a tiny yellow bird in the tree.











Left: Emmett Pepper, Ashley Gardana, and Braunson Virjee inside the ICC during COP17/CMP7.










Right: Happily able to work outside at the ICC, which was a welcome change from working inside the halls and rooms of the ICC where there were few windows.







Left: WCL students, alongside representatives from other environmental NGOs, do some work while waiting for a briefing from Jonathan Pershing, the Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, and others on the United States' delegation.









Right: Emmett Pepper ('12) gets some research done in the hallway of the ICC, one of the few places where there were electrical outlets, in between attending meetings.




Left: Emmett Pepper ('12), Program Coordinator Erika Lennon, and Ashley Gardana ('12) enjoy "nature" inside the ICC alongside Alyssa Johl, an attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and Brooke Meakins, an attorney.






Right: Hundreds of COP-17 participants engaged in civil disobedience on Friday, December 9. As negotiators talked behind closed doors, many participated in a protest in the ICC that was organized by Greenpeace International. (Photo Credit: Ashley Gardana)





Left: COP17 participants get comfortable at the ICC on a long day of waiting for the final negotiations to come to an end. (Photo Credit: Ashley Gardana)






Right: An illustration of the waiting at COP17 ... Screens at the ICC indicate the five meetings set to take place on Saturday, December 10, all of which had "time to be announced." (Photo Credit: Ashley Gardana)






Left: Early on the final night of COP17, WCL students Ashley Gardana and Emmett Pepper wait for the AWG-LCA closing plenary and the President's informal stocktaking to begin alongside Kristen Hite, an attorney with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).







Right: Around 12:30 a.m., COP17 Participants watch Real Madrid v. FC Barcelona at the only open cafe in the ICC on the final night of negotiations while they wait for the informal stocktaking to begin (which occured several hours later).






Left: In the middle of the night, during the President's Informal Stocktaking, negotiators try and agree on final wording of the Durban Platform. This huddle occurred after Parties spent over an hour in the open plenary debating over whether the final agreement on the Durban Platform should say that it is working toward a legally binding agreement. (Photo credit: Emmett Pepper)



Durban: our home for two weeks during COP-17.