Right now world leaders are meeting to discuss ways to halt global warming. Sure, everyone wants a healthy Earth, but the conference in Copenhagen is filled with different countries’ needs. Help your peers understand the politics behind climate change reform by hosting a model COP Conference.
Get the OK
Get permission to set up a model COP15 delegation team from your school, church, temple or community center.
Maybe get a teacher or expert on board. A science teacher or local ecologist would be a great start.
Do Your Research
You’ll need to know a little about:
- Why climate change is a problem
- What countries or groups of countries will participate in the talks
- What possible solutions are being suggested
- What are your climate change goals?
- What does the conference hope to accomplish?
- How do you hope to achieve these goals?
Write a purpose statement for the conference.
Schedule the Conference
Think about what would work best, based on your goals and who you want involved: A weekend? A few days after school? Once a week for a month? Will it be an assembly at school?
- Think about your purpose statement – which of these options would best fit that? If one of your goals is to create buzz, maybe a school assembly is the way to go.
- If you’re looking to change policies in your town, maybe you should hold it in the evening so decision-makers can attend and contribute.
Find a Meeting Place
Figure out whether you'll hold it at school or in your town and decide where the best place will be. Talk to the principal, teacher, or person in charge of giving you the OK to use the space for your planning meetings and the actual model conference.
Gather Your Participants
Is it going to be student-based? Hang up fliers in school and advertise in the school paper.
- Make sure your publicity says what kinds of skills you’re looking for: people who are interested in debate, public speaking, writing, planning and strategy, green peeps, etc. Think what will make a well-rounded team and will generate discussion.
An executive committee. These members represent the head of the UN, the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. Committee members will act as hosts who run the meetings and push for agreements.
Delegates. These members represent a specific nation (India, China) or a federation (European Union, Rainforest Coalition) with a certain interest.
Have them research:
- Their population
- How much energy they use
- Their industrial status. Are they still developing? Is industry eco-friendly there?
- Their thoughts on possible restrictions
- Solutions to which they’d agree
Consultants. These members can be environmental (scientists, environmental gurus), economic (economists, industrialists) or political (government representatives). Their job requires a lot of research so that they can:
- Suggest climate solutions that favor their sector
- Report the impact of a suggested solution on their sector
Publicize Your Conference
Again, invite others to attend by:
- Creating fliers
- Advertising in school newspapers or community newsletters
- Telling teachers to bring their class
Begin Your Discussions in Front of Your Audience
Every country or federation will have an interest that they want to see accomplished, but the executive committee should encourage everyone to compromise. Ask consultants on their opinions of the impact of the proposed agreements.
Wrap It Up!
The discussion ends when the countries have decided on a compromise. Remember, the consultants can give their recommendations but they don’t have a vote.
Lead the willing delegates in signing a final climate change agreement.