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American Today



Washington College of Law Students Attend Climate Change Summit

By Mike Unger

David Hunter certainly wasn’t planning on spending any of his December in Denmark, but some of his Washington College of Law students had a different idea.

Hunter, who teaches international environmental law at the American University law school, will spend next week with six of his students at the United Nations climate change summit in Denmark.

“I’ve been off-and-on involved with climate negotiations since 1992,” said Hunter, the former executive director of the Center of International Environmental Law. “I had not planned on attending when several students of mine who are also active in the environment organizations at the law school came to me and said they really wanted to go and they wanted me to take them. I said no, but they kept coming back. I finally said if you can all find a place to stay I’ll change my mind. And I’m going to work you very hard.”

Some of the students will receive credit for the trip, some won’t. But all will complete a paper on their experience—that was one of Hunter’s stipulations.

The students will be registered with either the Center for International Environmental Law or the Climate Law and Policy Project, both nongovernmental organizations. While in Copenhagen, they’ll sit in on some of the negotiation sessions that are open to the public as observers, participate in environmental group strategy sessions, and attend some of the hundreds of side events being held around town.

Hunter also has scheduled briefings for the students from WCL alumni who are part of the negotiations and environmental groups trying to influence the proceedings.

Follow the students as they blog about their experiences in Copenhagen on the environmental Web site