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Students from around the world debate Climate Change resolutions

By XING YI in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-01-24 19:14

Around 300 high school students from all over the world have taken part in an online Model United Nations (MUN) conference, called Good COP, Bad COP MUN Climate Change conference, to debate issues around climate change, in the style of the recent COP 27 climate summit.

The students came from 20 countries including China, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Zambia and the Netherlands, and used the conference to deepen their knowledge of other countries and practice their diplomatic skills.

Students from Changchun Foreign Language School in China represented the United States, and proposed a resolution to phase out single-use plastics, as well as chairing another resolution on compensation for loss and damage due to climate change.

Other resolution proposers were from Baobab College in Zambia, and Bristol Grammar School and King's School, Worcester, in the UK, who showed very strong performances during the conference.

The host school, the Grange School, fielded a president and a vice-president to ensure the smooth running of proceedings, and chaired and proposed the remaining resolutions.

Alex McLeish, vice-president of the conference, said the standard of debating meant that this was one of the best MUN conferences that he had ever attended. The subject matter and global nature of the participants generated far more global awareness and understanding, he added.

One student from King's School said: "My hometown, Worcester, which is a small city in the UK, has been subject to frequent flooding in the last 10 years and at the current rate, several areas in Worcester are at risk of being underwater by the end of the decade."

"My participation in MUN has made me think about different solutions to tackle hard-hitting crises, and also finding out about how separate schools are doing their part to make a difference is inspiring and makes me think about how I could possibly implement those ideas," added the student.

Engage with China, an educational charity in the UK, organized the event, which is the second since its first initiative last January. This year's event was sponsored by ESG Ai Tech (Shanghai) Ltd, a tech and consulting company which focuses on environmental social and governance analysis and solutions, based on data and cross-industry proprietary models.

Theresa Booth, director of Engage with China, said: "Participants benefitted not only from the personal research they did to represent their respective countries, but also listening to the excellent arguments of the other countries, and as a consequence now have a better understanding and a greater will to do something as regards climate change than ever before."

Caroline Wilson, UK ambassador to China, said in a video speech for the conference: "The world needs climate leaders like you to lead the change … you have an opportunity to represent another country and see these issues through their eyes. The insights you gain will help you find solutions and to build global awareness and diplomatic skills.

"Have fun, build consensus, and please show the real-life climate negotiators of all sides how it's done," she said.

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