Schools take over climate negotiations in Mock COP26 conference

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(London, 20 October 2021): Schoolchildren from all four UK nations took on the role of negotiating teams ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) at a unique youth summit this past week.

The Four Nations School Climate Conference saw pupils from 15 secondary schools agree on a range of measures and actions aimed to address climate change and environmental degradation.

Organised to emulate the real-life conference in Glasgow next month, the virtual event on 13 October 2021  resulted in resolutions being agreed to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, to prevent illegal logging and to protect coastal communities from sea level rises, among others.

Hosted by charities Size of Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), InterClimate Network, Centre for Global Education and ScotDEC and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), the event received support from the ScottishPower Foundation, which has funded the Size of Wales MockCOP programme since 2019.

The students formed teams representing a diverse mix of 20 developed and developing countries attending COP26 – including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, the Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, UK and USA. The 20 countries together account for three quarters of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Kevin Rahman-Daultrey, Policy and Education Manager at Size of Wales, said: “MockCOPs are a vital way for young people to learn about how world leaders coordinate to take international action on climate change. At this event, young people from across the UK  set an excellent example for world leaders to follow. They showed that global consensus on addressing the climate crisis is both possible and necessary to protect all of our futures”.

Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “It’s so inspiring that young people from across the UK are coming together at this very special four nations MockCOP event to address the climate crisis. It’s a privilege for the ScottishPower Foundation to support young people who are spearheading change within their communities and beyond.”

Putting forward policy positions using carefully chosen arguments in a conference debate model that mirrors the UN negotiations, the students agreed on a set of resolutions on key themes. The resolutions will be taken to COP26 in Glasgow at a special youth event organised by Size of Wales on the 10th of November live from COP26.

ENDS

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