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Chief Sustainability Officer Lee Ball, Dr. Dave McEvoy, chair of the Department of Economics, and Dr. Martin Meznar, associate dean for global and civic engagement in the Walker College of Business, represented App State at the COP26 summit.  
The COP26 summit took place is Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. 
The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
Protestors outside the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland with a sign reading “No Future in Fossil Fuels.” 

Chief Sustainability Officer Lee Ball, Dr. Dave McEvoy, chair of the Department of Economics, and Dr. Martin Meznar, associate dean for global and civic engagement in the Walker College of Business, represented App State at the COP26 summit.  
The COP26 summit took place is Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. 
The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
Protestors outside the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland with a sign reading “No Future in Fossil Fuels.” 
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND — Three leaders from Appalachian State University are attending the 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. 
Chief Sustainability Officer Lee Ball, Dave McEvoy, chair of the Department of Economics, and Martin Meznar, associate dean for global and civic engagement in the Walker College of Business, are representing App State at the event for the first time.
The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, according to the summit’s website. More information on COP26 can be found at ukcop26.org/
“In 1994 the global community established an international treaty to address the problems of climate change called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” McEvoy said. “The conference of the parties (the “COP”) is the annual meeting where countries try to work together to craft policies to achieve their collective climate goals under the UNFCCC. COP26 is building on the Paris Agreement that was established during COP21.”
McEvoy said the summit is really an opportunity for countries to share their experiences and ideas as well as showcase technologies and research.
“It has elements of a ‘world’s fair’ in which countries have a platform to share their achievements,” McEvoy said. “It also provides a chance for people to voice concerns and challenges. It’s very common for large-scale public protests to take place outside the venue.”
In 2019, McEvoy said an application was submitted for App State to take part in the UNFCCC process as a non-governmental organization, which means the university can now send delegates to participate in the COP. 
“The ultimate goal is to give future App students a chance to observe and participate in the negotiation process and gain an appreciation of the scale and importance of the climate problem,” McEvoy said. “App State has sent a small delegation this year with the primary goals of representing the institution, gathering information about COP logistics, establishing professional networks and sharing some of initiatives related to sustainability and climate change at Appalachian State University.”
From his point of view of the summit, McEvoy said many countries — including the United States — have indicted a willingness to take more immediate and drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to commitments made six years ago. 
“However, there are big gaps in the global efforts,” McEvoy said. “China and India, the world’s highest and fourth highest polluters, aren’t making significant commitments on reducing emissions. This goes for Russia as well. Progress has been made on international cooperation to reduce methane emissions, and many countries have made aggressive pledges to phase out their reliance on fossil fuels over the next two decades.”
McEvoy said the COP is a learning experience for everyone. He said the COP makes it clear that managing climate change requires international cooperation and treaty formation, but also local action. 
“Our campus can do so much to lead efforts in climate change for our community and for higher education in general,” McEvoy said. 
As a representative of App State, McEvoy said the overarching goal of COP to avoid warming above 3 degrees is ambitious, but important. 
“The hope is that the voices heard at COP26 make it clear that everyone needs to play a part in achieving this goal,” McEvoy said.
COP26 took place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. The 27th annual COP will take place in Egypt in 2022. More information on the summit can be found at ukcop26.org/
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