This November, Professor in Residence Phoebe Godfrey attended the second week of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP), of the UNFCCC (United Nations Frame-work Convention on Climate Change). COP27 took place in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6th to November 18th. Professor Godfrey was joined by fourteen current UConn students as well as a number of other faculty.
As I maneuvered my way around the COP, a circus of frantic human activity, I celebrated the unique opportunity to hear from those whose voices and stories have historically been silenced through violence and genocide. At the same time, I recognized that for most of the people there from our culture, even as they are no doubt highly concerned about the climate crisis, their solutions still reside in the existing system. These "solutions" that the Indigenous chief and many others refer to as "false solutions" are ones that focus on innovative technologies, such as so-called "green energy" or "carbon markets," both of which continue to "put a price on nature," as opposed to confronting capitalism's mandate to grow and increase profit exponentially regardless of the social and environmental consequences.