Learning Across Boundaries (LABs)

International Climate Diplomacy at the 24th Conference of Parties LAB

December 2018

A December LAB led by Professor Angel Hsu

This December marks the latest round in the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate negotiations (COP-24), to be held in Katowice, Poland. Three years after the historic Paris Agreement was negotiated and countries put forth their pledges to address climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance, national governments have been asked to review their initial offerings and increase their ambition in Katowice. With analysis revealing the first round of Paris submissions were woefully inadequate to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, the discussions in Katowice will be critical to ensuring national governments work together to secure the best possible outcomes for when the agreement goes into effect in 2020.

Informing these discussions are also the roles of business, civil society, and subnational governments’ own commitments and efforts on climate change. These actors have solidified a crucial role in working together with national governments to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. Following the heels of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, convened by California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, this event saw the announcement of numerous business, civil society and subnational government commitments. Many of these actors will hold follow-up discussions in parallel to the national negotiations.

DATES: Sunday, 2 December 2018 – Saturday, 8 December 2018

LOCATION: Katowice, Poland

CO-PAY: S$1,500

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Some need-based financial assistance will be available for students with demonstrated financial need. There will be a separate application for financial assistance after students are selected for the LAB.

Please send any questions about the LAB to Beth Uding or Annette Wu at CIPE.

Have Questions?
Annette Wu
Executive, Experiential Learning

Contact with questions about travel fellowships and LABs.


Partnering with the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and NUS’s Energy Studies Institute, Yale-NUS College will provide a LAB opportunity for a small delegation of students to attend the COP-24 climate conference in Poland this December. The LAB will be open to students from any class or major; however, special consideration will be given to students who have shown a commitment to scholarly work on the environment or public policy and/or who have demonstrated sustained leadership around environmentalism or conservation at the campus, national or international level. Students participating in this LAB can expect to:

  • Be a part of the COP-24 climate conference, which may include the negotiations themselves (access is limited) or off-site side events;
  • Network with experts and leaders in climate change science and policy;
  • Garner ideas for capstone projects by attending subject-specific side events and liaising with key actors in these sectors;
  • Gain a big-picture overview of the multilateral environmental governance system.

Badges to access the official negotiations will be limited, but other LAB participants will have access to other events, depending on individual interest and availability of secondary passes. Due to the limited nature of secondary passes for events such as Cities Day, we highly encourage students interested in this LAB to 1) identify possible areas of interest at the COP (e.g., reducing deforestation as a climate mitigation strategy); and 2) scour related websites of organizations convening such side events in Katowice to understand any possibilities or restrictions.

To apply for the LAB, students must propose a project that will help to them to structure their time at the COP. In the past, students have proposed a range of projects, including multi-media presentations of climate change activism, understanding rhetoric used by negotiators, understanding the role of business and civil society. The strongest proposals will be narrow, specific and accomplishable in one week on the ground.What events will you attend, who will you engage, and how will you answer your research question? What kinds of information will you collect, and how will you share this with a broader audience?

While the limited conference badges will be allocated based on how much a student’s project relates to the negotiations themselves, all LAB participants will be able to engage with organizations and individuals convening in Katowice for COP-24.