Building G at COP 20 is filled with several hundred exhibitor booths. From 9 AM to 9 PM delegates stroll, peruse and learn. But almost none of these booths focus on the ocean. An important exception is the Hot, Sour, and Breathless Booth, sponsored by Plymouth Marine Lab, UK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and CMBC, USA, and the Univ. of Santo Tomas, Chile. Here, COP delegates and observers can learn how excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is warming, acidifying and de-oxygenating the oceans. One-on-one conversations with delegates, press and observers allow us to have detailed, country-specific discussions of change in the ocean and the ecological and economic consequences. Our goal is to have the ocean highlighted in the negotiations and appear in the declaration text.
Yesterday, I was finally able to sneak away for a few minutes to peruse the other booths at the COP. I was interested in which other students were at the COP and what they were doing, so I ended up at the University of Michigan booth and was pleased to walk away with an invitation for a student mixer hosted by Vermont Law School and Washington University School of Law. With hosts like those, we were a bit hesitant to join as non-law students, but we’re glad we did.