Sofia Alli, MBC ’24, heads to COP28 in Dubai

In Articles by hmtannenbaum

About 30 delegates from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego will be attending the 28th Conference of Parties, COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this winter.

One of those 30 delegates is none other than our own MAS MBC candidate, Sofia Alli. We caught up with Sofia as she gets ready to travel to Dubai, and participate in this important global conference.

The Context: 

This year saw some of the highest temperatures, and several climate-records shattered. The climate crisis needs our attention and action more than ever. The United Nations climate conference (Nov 30th – Dec 12th, 2023) creates an opportunity for world leaders, politicians, experts, and other stakeholders to discuss and create national goals on a global level.

Learn more about the UC San Diego delegation here.

The MAS MBC program was proud to nominate Sofia to attend COP28 as part of the    delegation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Sofia is deeply committed to examining the climate crisis from an interdisciplinary perspective examining Latin and South American energy policy, justice and inclusion. Global conferences have often fallen-short in including diverse perspectives, especially of the Global South, and we are glad Sofia will be bringing her unique life experiences, and her training in the MAS MBC program to this international platform.

From Sofia Alli, MAS MBC 2024:

This quarter I’ve been taking Latin America Environmental and Energy Policy and I’m very excited to apply the information I learned to the experience that I will get at COP! My family has very strong Latin American/South American ties so growing up I spent a lot of time in this region and was able to witness firsthand how marine policy and climate change have shaped this region and continue to be a pressing topic. I’m also very interested in renewable energy development, especially in Latin America. One specific talk I’m looking forward to attending is regarding IRENA (The International Renewable Energy Agency) and listening in on what the implementation plan is. Another talk I’m looking forward to attending is “Ocean Innovation to Support Climate Adaptation and Resilience,” because I’m planning on centering my capstone around climate adaptation plans in Mexico’s coastal areas and hopefully this will give me something to contribute towards that.

I also really value youth engagement in climate issues. I think that youth engagement and participation is crucial to climate discussions and I feel very honored to be attending COP28 and to see other like-minded individuals who are around my age contribute to climate change discussions at a global scale.

What do you wish people would understand about climate change? 

I wish people would understand how impactful climate change is in developing nations. Latin America specifically is such a rich, diverse, and abundant ecosystem that heavily feels the impact of climate change and marine conservation policy needs to be better tailored to these nations needs and capabilities. Climate change needs to be combatted on a global scale and requires delicate cooperation.

What are you looking forward to/hoping to accomplish at COP?

I have several goals I’m looking to accomplish at COP. I’ll be doing [an independent study] with Ocean Conservancy during the Winter Semester and my goal regarding that will be to follow any discussions of seabed mining and report back on how coastal biodiversity was presented at COP. On a personal level, I’ve worked in the past with international marine conservation researchers and nonprofits in South America. My area of interest is Mexico’s and Central America’s marine policy and energy policy so I am very excited to follow any discussions regarding offshore energy development and climate adaptation in coastal areas. I’ll be centering my capstone on coastal climate adaptation plans, specifically in Mexico so it’ll be interesting to see if anything regarding or related to that topic is brought up.

Final Thoughts: 

My grandfather was a UN Ambassador so attending COP28 as a US Delegate feels like a very full circle moment for me. Growing up, I was always taught to believe that anyone can enact change so I’m very excited to be contributing to such a relevant and impactful discussion.

~ Thanks for sharing your journey to COP with us Sofia! We can’t wait to hear about it all upon your return! Safe travels!