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Pupils unite to debate climate change

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 17/12/2012

The model United Nations Climate Conference took place on 4 December at the Civic Centre in Kingswood with a format based on the actual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) conference that took place in Doha, Qatar in November and December.

The Council Chamber was filled with an afternoon of lively negotiation and debate and included a SKYPE link to delegates’ counterparts in Poland.

The 65 students from five participating secondary schools, including the Yate International Academy, Kings Oak Academy and Bradley Stoke Community School, represented 14 countries that took part in the UNFCC conference.

Bradley Stoke school Assistant Head (Community) Claire Wilson said: “It was a fantastic experience for the students, both in terms of subject content and in developing skills such as debating and negotiating.

“I thought that having this chance to work with students from other schools also helped with their confidence. We look forward to bringing this concept into the school to repeat the session with other students.”

Students negotiated a new long-term global deal to tackle climate change as a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. They reached realistic and sustainable agreements on emission targets and financial inputs for the next 15 years. The overarching conclusion of the model conference was that the stronger leading world economies need to help the poorer economies to achieve their goals.

Janet Biggin, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, formally welcomed the delegates and opened the conference. Students also received a presentation from Stuart Hook, Head of Democratic Services, on the democratic framework.

The conference is part of a wider project which will see 14 Conferences run across the UK, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The event is an initiative of InterClimate Network Ltd, and is supported by South Gloucestershire Council. The conferences are funded by Rotary, the British Council and the European Union’s ‘Youth in Action’ Programme.

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