U of G Grads to Attend UN Climate Talks

November 17, 2008 - News Release

Three recent University of Guelph graduates have been chosen to represent Canadian youth at the United Nations climate change conference in Poznan, Poland.

They are among 26 Canadian youth participating in the international climate conference Dec. 1 to 12 and will join more than 100 youth from across the globe to voice their concerns and advocate for stronger policies surrounding climate change.

"Not many people have the opportunity to see these negotiations or to have an impact on their outcome," said Jennie McDowell, a 2007 B.Sc. graduate who is now the City of Guelph's transportation demand management co-ordinator to facilitate sustainable transportation.

"The Canadian Youth Delegation (CYD) is uniquely positioned to meet our national leaders face-to-face, and convey the weight and importance of their policy decisions as they affect the future generations of Canada and the world," she said.

The CYD, which includes representation from every province, was established in 2006 as a non-partisan youth organization dedicated to educating young people and promoting government action on climate change issues. During the UN conference, the youth delegation will serve as official observers, learning about global negotiations, international governance and how people from other nations address such issues.

"This United Nations process is the only chance we have of getting all countries on the same page to solve this problem," said Adam Scott, a 2007 bachelor of arts graduate. As a U of G student, Scott was a research associate in the Global Environmental Change Group in U of G's Department of Geography.

Also on the CYD team is U of G alumnus Derek Pieper, who earned a B.Sc. In 2007 and was a commissioner with Central Student Association.

Pieper, Scott and McDowell were leaders in mounting a 2007 student referendum at U of G in which undergraduate and graduate students committed more than $5 million over 12 years for energy conservation on campus. The initiative, proposed by the Guelph Students for Environmental Change and the Student Executive Council, has received national and international awards.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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