Dec. 4, 2009

Almost two dozen Cornellians will travel to Copenhagen for climate conference

When the historic climate change conference -- aimed at creating a new protocol for preventing global warming and climate changes -- takes place next week in Copenhagen, Denmark, Cornell will be well represented.

A delegation of 22 Cornell faculty, staff and students will attend the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15), Dec. 7-18. The contingent hopes to use the meeting as a springboard for creating interdisciplinary partnerships here to research pressing climate issues in the future.

"The Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future [CCSF] is trying to stimulate interactions across campus to realize the latent potential of multidisciplinary approaches to complex issues like climate change," said Chris Barrett, professor of applied economics and management (AEM) and associate director for economic development at CCSF, during a Dec. 3 meeting of the COP15 delegation. Barrett added that the pre-conference meeting helped start a dialogue to facilitate continued actions at Cornell after the Copenhagen meeting.

During COP15, four Cornell representatives will make presentations at side events. Johannes Lehmann, associate professor of soil fertility management and soil biogeochemistry and head of Cornell's COP15 delegation, will speak about carbon-sequestering and soil-amending biochar at three panels Dec. 7, 9 and 12.

Also, during the conference's Agriculture and Rural Development Day Dec. 12, Antonio Bento, associate professor of AEM; John Fay, a researcher at CCSF; and Sam Bell, an AEM graduate student, will discuss a conservation agriculture initiative in Zambia and technical challenges and emerging solutions for developing methodologies that use an integrated approach to landscape-level carbon accounting.

Others attendees will include Huaizhu Oliver Gao, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Charles Greene, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences; Benjamin Ho, assistant professor of economics in the Johnson School; Ying Hua, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis; and Jocelyn Rose, assistant professor of plant biology and director of the Cornell Initiative for Sustainable Bioenergy Crops.

Five staff members, including three from the Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations Global Labor Institute in New York City, and 10 graduate and undergraduate students also will attend.