UH law student lobbies
Conference of Parties focuses on environmental issues, ends with no agreement
Senior Staff Writer
A UH law student traveled to the Netherlands
during Thanksgiving week for a United Nations global warming conference,
where representatives from around the world met to discuss strategies to
relieve international environmental issues.
Jason Hill was in the Dutch city of The
Hague for the Sixth Annual Conference of Parties (COP6) for the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as part of Ozone Action,
an organization focused on global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion.
The non-profit group sent 200 students
from around the country to lobby U.S. delegates at COP6. Hill was one of
four students from Texas and the only one from UH.
Hill, president of the UH Environmental
Law Society and a governing board member of the National Association of
Environmental Law Societies, was more interested in the academic side of
"I was more interested to see how UH could
send a delegation to COP7 (Seventh Annual Conference of Parties) in Morocco
next year," Hill said.
"What takes place can be a valuable learning
experience to those interested in environmental law," he said.
Different things were going on at COP6,
The process was "transparent," Hill said,
with the meetings being open to the public.
The conference also felt like a trade show,
with booths placed in the convention center, Hill said. Outside, protests
were going on during the conference.
The international delegates convened in
The Hague for two weeks to further develop the guidelines of the Kyoto
Protocol, a 1997 agreement among developed countries to reduce the emission
of greenhouse gases.
"The convention was supposed to put more
meat on the bones than what they did in Kyoto," Hill said.
However, he said the United States, Japan,
Australia and Canada took a position where they wanted to take credit for
already reducing emissions by having forests and agricultural crops in
their countries, which did not sit well with the other delegates.
"This was seen as unfair by the other nations,
especially the European Union," Hill said.
The European Union did not agree that these
countries should be rewarded for a process that will happen anyway, with
no effort from their governments.
The delegates could not reach a consensus
at COP6 and the conference ended with no agreement among the parties.
"It was not necessarily a failure," Hill
said. "Some things need to be worked out."
Hill is working toward a master of environmental
studies and bachelor of environmental studies and philosophy.
"I am proud to be one of the few students
chosen to represent the United States and Texas at this year's convention,"
he said. "The energy and ideas I bring back from The Hague, I hope to pass
along to other students who also want to take steps toward proactive initiatives.
I look forward to graduating in May and will continue the environmental,