UN International Climate Change Negotiations Opportunity

Climate change is the most pressing and complex environmental and social problem facing our planet. The Environmental Law Program (ELP) at Miami Law offers students an opportunity to engage in the annual negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Through the Environmental Law Program, students have the opportunity to advocate for climate action and attend the United Nations COP Climate Change Conferences. Professor Jessica Owley and students have attended in the past in Madrid in 2019 and Egypt in 2022.

2023 COP 28

The 2023 round of negotiations (the 28th Conference of the Parties, referred to as COP 28) takes place in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates beginning November 30th and ending December 12th. Participants will attend one week of negotiations (either 11/30-12/6 or 12/7-12/12, with exact travel dates yet to be confirmed). The host country website is available here. The United Nations website is here

Course Requirement

Selected students will enroll in two classes. First, students are required to take Climate Change Law and Policy in the Fall (2 units). Second, students will enroll in UN Climate Negotiations in the Spring (1 unit). Both classes are taught by Professor Jessica Owley. The first class explores climate change law on a broader scale considering local, state, federal, and international law. Particular time will be spent examining the Paris Agreement and the UN climate framework. The second class is officially a spring 2024 class for which students will write a 4,000-word policy brief on a topic related to the negotiations. 

(Note - COP 28 takes place during the Fall 2023 exam period. Please consider this factor in course planning and confirm with your other instructors that participation will not prove an obstacle. Students are so busy at the COP that it is a challenge to take exams or study from afar although some students have successfully done so in the past. We will try to work with the registrar and instructors to reschedule exams if required.)

The Program Fee and Estimated Costs

Students should estimate $1,500 to participate in this program and must arrange their own travel to Dubai. Plane tickets are likely to be around $1,000. UM’s Environmental Law Program will be covering most of the in-country costs (hotel, breakfast, dinner, in-country transportation, some other incidentals). Students will need to find lunch each day. (The ELP is pursuing additional funding options to cover student airfare but cannot guarantee it at this time.)


This program is targeted at law students (J.D.s, LL.M.s, and S.J.D.s), but welcomes applications from graduate students outside the law school as well. Priority goes to students in the environmental law concentration and to students with a demonstrated interest in public international law and policy.

Application Process

To apply for this program, please submit the following materials to Juan Pablo Alvarez (juanpalvarez@law.miami.edu) by April 17, 2023 at noon.

  1. A statement of interest (no longer than 500 words) explaining why you wish to participate.
  2. Two references (not letters of recommendation), including at least one from a faculty member.
  3. An up-to-date resume.
  4. Your transcript. The transcript can be unofficial. It should include your Spring 2023 classes even if you have not yet received your grades at the time of your application. If you already know what you plan to take in Fall 2023, please indicate that as well.

Application and Program Timing

  • Information session on March 29, 2023 at 12:30 (in room F200 or via zoom 30-5284-5284)
  • Applications are due on April 17, 2023.
  • Decisions will be made by May 1, 2023.
  • Fall 2023 students will enroll in Climate Change Law and Policy (2 units)
  • Travel will occur in November – December 2023.
  • Spring 2024 students will enroll in UN Climate Negotiations (1 unit)

For Information

This program is led by Professor Jessica Owley in conjunction with other environmental law faculty.