Ateneo Climate Champion attends Paris Climate Change Conference as the youngest Filipino delegate
An Ateneo student, Socorro Rodrigo, was the youngest Philippine delegate to attend the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, France. The Department of Physics and School of Science and Engineering hope Rodrigo will be one of the climate champions of her generation for the country.
Rodrigo, a 4th year BS Physics major, was part of the Ateneo de Manila team which supported the negotiators of the Philippines during the meetings.
Ateneo School of Government Dean Dr. Tony La Viña recruited Rodrigo after learning about her success at the 13th Philippine Association of Marine Science (PAMS) National Symposium on Marine Science last October 22 to 24, 2015 in General Santos City where she bagged the Best Student Oral Presentation/Best Student Paper award.
Dean La Viña said that specific and concrete climate studies like that of Rodrigo's are relevant to COP21 since they give inputs about the local implications of climate events. A Facebook post last November which showed him briefing Rodrigo also stated that they would “need expertise like hers.”
Her paper, "The Mapping of Storm Surge-Prone Areas Along Leyte Gulf," was about how storm surges caused damage to the Leyte Gulf and includes an analysis on where and how often these surges occur.
She co-wrote her thesis paper with Mr. Jeric Briones and Ms. Gemma Teresa T. Narisma (Head of the Regional Climate Systems Program at the Manila Observatory) of the Ateneo de Manila University, with Marine Science Institute members Mr. Cesar L. Villanoy and Ms. Princess Hope T. Bilgera, and with Ms. Olivia C. Cabrera, Meteorology assistant professor of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
COP21 is under the yearly United Nations Climate Change Conferences gathering members of the COP, the supreme decision-making body of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
This was the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations that the conference strived to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, aiming to keep global warming below 2°C.
The United Nations Climate Change Conferences this year will run from November 30 to December 11, 2015.