Emma Thornton wants you to imagine a world in which crops are shaded and fertilized by trees, coastal ecosystems protect communities from storm surges, and freshwater is purified by biodiverse wetlands.
“Doesn’t it just make sense?” she asks.
Thornton, a fourth-year environmental science student at Northeastern, reflected on the idea of societies someday using natural resources to tackle issues such as climate change and food and water security at an international climate negotiations summit in Poland in December. The conference, which lasted two weeks, was convened to come up with rules for implementing the Paris Agreement, an international treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2020.
“This is the best opportunity to immerse yourself in international climate policy,” said Laura Kuhl,an assistant professor in Northeastern’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs who led the students to the summit with Kyla Van Maanen, the program manager for research partnerships for the Global Resilience Institute.