Wales’ Young People Have Their Say About Climate Change In MockCOP Conference
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”