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University of Maine faculty, students heading to global climate conference in Egypt

Climate COP26 Summit
Alberto Pezzali
Delegates gather in the Action Zone at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.

When representatives from countries all over the world gather in Egypt next month to hammer out climate deals, a contingent of Mainers will be among them.

The United Nations climate summit is known as the 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP27. It's where delegates and scientists will negotiate strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adapting to climate change.

Associate professor Cindy Isenhour is among nine University of Maine faculty and graduate students attending the proceedings. She says it's an opportunity for teaching, research, and participation.

"They're framing it as the adaptation COP," says Isenhour, "so I think a lot of the emphasis this year will be on trying to make sure there's enough finance available, particularly for the less developed and really vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change."

She says much of the discussion is at the global level, but Maine is developing a reputation for strong climate policy.

"So I would imagine if Maine is specifically mentioned it will be in the context of a really positive example of committing to a target, and then really aggressively moving toward fulfilling that commitment," Isenhour says.

On their return, Isenhour and her colleagues will develop a presentation to summarize their experiences.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.