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BC Junior Joseph Manning Attends U.N. Climate Change Convention in Doha, Qatar

Joseph Manning
BC student Joseph Manning

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (11-27-12) Boston College junior Joseph Manning is attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 18th annual Conference of the Parties which began Nov. 26 and will continue until Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar.

This is the fourth year Manning has attended the Framework Convention on Climate Change as a representative of the Sierra Club, and he believes this year’s Conference of the Parties will serve as a major stepping stone to achieving a binding international agreement that will include all nations that are considered major greenhouse gas emitters.

Sessions of the 18th Conference of the Parties, also known as COP18, to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8), will be held at the iconic Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha.

“As a COP18 Delegate with the Sierra Club, I am one of only handful student delegates representing the largest, oldest, and most powerful environmental organization in the country,” Manning said.

He will attend daily negotiation sessions and meet with State Department representatives as well as members of the U.S. Cabinet and Congress in attendance. Over the past three years, he has met Deputy Special Envoy on Climate Change Jonathan Pershing, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Al Waxman.

As an attendee, he will work with delegates and officials from around the world to negotiate a fair treaty. For example, two years ago at COP16, Manning worked with Chinese youth delegates and helped convince the chief negotiators from the U.S. and China to sign a memorandum of understanding regarding their shared responsibility to develop a legally binding climate treaty.

Manning strives to serve as a spokesperson for his generation, because he and his peers will live to see the harsh human realities of climate change.

“At its core, climate change is a human issue with severe human consequences if we allow it to go unchecked,” Manning said. “It is a social justice issue because the poorest of our society – both in America and the world at large – will bear the burden of rising sea levels, drought, and crop loss. Therefore, it is our responsibility, as individuals with opportunity, to do all we can to advocate for a solution for climate change.

A Presidential Scholar from Ovideo, Fla., Manning is chair of the executive committee of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC), the Sierra Club’s college and high school-age chapter. He is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and is pursuing a degree in political science and environmental studies.

For additional information and to learn more about the progress of these negotiations, follow the Sierra Club on Twitter, or contact Manning directly at

--Michael Maloney, Office of News & Public Affairs