Can the nations of the world agree on a global treaty to reduce climate change? A student-run simulation of the Paris climate conference suggests it’s possible.

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Participants from more than ten schools gathered at George Washington University to negotiate global rules for reducing emissions, adapting to climate impacts, financing climate action, and compensating for loss and damage. Each student was assigned a country to represent.

Davis: “The simulation forces you to take on the persona and take on the needs and wants and holding points of other countries, and I think all students really gained a perspective on the impacts of climate change on a global scale.”

”Students’ Click To Tweet

That’s organizer Eleanor Davis, a student at George Washington University. She says there were challenges – the U.S. and Russian delegates debated the text on pollution reductions until the end … but the students finally approved a treaty, and walked away optimistic about the coming negotiations in Paris, which many of them plan to attend.

Davis: “We do care, and we are listening, and we are paying attention to what happens in Paris, which puts extra pressure on the negotiators to come up with something that not only affects them, but also positively affects our generation.”

Mock summit photo

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo source: Inter-University Climate Change Negotiation Simulation.

More Resources
French Embassy in the U.S. (Facebook) (See brief entry for ICCN under October 5, 2015)
Webpage for French Ambassador to the U.S.
6th Inter-University Climate Change Negotiations Simulation (Squarespace)

Michael Svoboda, Ph.D., is the Yale Climate Connections books editor. He is a professor in the University Writing Program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he has taught since...