This November, third-year Glynn Scholar Annika Barron attended the UN Global Climate Conference, COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The annual conference draws together over 92 heads of state and 35,000 delegates who focus on solving the world’s climate crisis.
Drawing on her minor in Catholic Social Teaching, Barron attended the conference as a delegate from the Christian Climate Observers Program. Doing so allowed her to attend diplomatic negotiations, meet climate change leaders, and hear stories of those affected by this crisis. She credits her faith for spurring her interest in the climate crisis. Barron notes, ”Thinking about the climate crisis through the lens of Catholic Social Tradition in particular was very inspiring, as I recognized that there was an intimate connection between the climate crisis and faith.”
After graduation, Barron will be attending medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City. Despite her medical ambitions, Barron keeps issues like climate change at the forefront of her mind. “At first I thought I would have to choose between the pursuit of medicine, justice issues, or climate work,” she reflected, but attending the conference opened her to new opportunities. For her, attending COP27 was “essential in showing me more of the intricate intersections between medicine and climate as I met individuals and groups who were combining medicine, climate science, and advocacy in a multitude of ways.”