On Friday 10th November, Welsh students took part in MockCOP, the mock United Nations climate change conference held in Ty Hywel. The conference, jointly organised by climate change charity Size of Wales and Welsh Centre for International Affairs and sponsored by Jenny Rathbone AM, gives Wales’ young people a voice and an opportunity to discuss the issue of climate change.
Small teams of students were assigned a country to represent such as USA, Philippines or Norway. In the build up to the event, teams researched their assigned country’s position on climate change, from their contribution to the Green Climate Fund to the risks they face from the effects of climate change such as droughts or rising sea levels.
The aim of MockCOP is for delegates to agree an international resolution on the issue of climate change, similar to the UN climate change COP23 talks hosted by Fiji and currently taking place in Bonn, Germany. Topics discussed ranged from clean energy, protecting tropical forests, disaster management and how to finance the issues.
Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF-UK and the acting Secretary General, presiding over the nations and organisations represented on the day said “There is no doubt that these young people have done incredible research and articulated it really well. It’s been hugely impressive to hear so many young people both understand the issues and most importantly put forward proposals for the future.
Tanya continued “Many of the proposals will be taken by Size of Wales’s Director, Rita Singh and WWF to the COP23 conference in Bonn next week. We think it’s essential that young voices are heard on this question. This is their world and they have every right to ask us to ensure that we do our very best to protect it for them.“
Janie Pridham, Size of Wales’ Education Programme Coordinator said “The conference encourages young people to be more engaged with climate change and political issues and it helps to develop an understanding of other nations and cultures. Furthermore, it encourages them to consider the responsibility of Wales, both locally and globally.”
One pupil said “The conference has widened my views concerning climate change and the need to take action. It has also given me a chance to appreciate the complexity of agreeing on ways to combat climate change and allowed me to develop my debating skills”
For further information, please contact Anna Harris, [email protected] / 02921 320 603
Notes to Editors:
- Images and hi-res logo readily available on request.
- Size of Wales is a unique Welsh initiative to help protect an area of rainforest twice the Size of Wales as part of our national response to climate change. The Cardiff-based charity supports and protects tropical forests in Africa and South America.
- Mock COP is organised by Size of Wales’ Education Programme, which also provides free workshops on rainforests and climate change for schools across Wales in both Welsh and English.
- The Welsh Centre for International Affairs’ (WCIA) vision is that everyone in Wales contributes to creating a fair and peaceful world. To achieve this, their mission is to inspire learning and action on global issues. Based in Cardiff and working with people of all ages throughout Wales, WCIA provides an independent, non-partisan forum for human rights, peace and justice, sustainability and international development.
The WCIA’s school arm organises events for learners, including Model United Nations and debating championships.
- WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at org.uk.
- Participating schools:
Ysgol Penglais (Aberystwyth), Castell Alun High School (Flintshire), Howell’s School (Cardiff), Cardiff Sixth Form (Cardiff), Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni (Caerphilly), Dyffryn School (Port Talbot), and Llangatwg Community School (Neath)
- Countries and NGOs represented at MockCOP:
United Kingdom, USA, China, Bangladesh, Australia, Germany, India, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Philippines, Fiji, Norway, Oxfam and WWF UK.