The International section is committed to climate.
Last week, to celebrate the COP24, the UN Climate meeting in Katowice, Poland, the section welcomed a series of speakers to talk to us about the consequences and risks of climate change. The 3e and 4e classes then came together to play a mock United Nations meeting to reach an international agreement about climate.
It all began three weeks ago when Mrs Fady asked the students in 4e and 3e to choose a number out of a hat. With this number they were “reborn” into another country. From then on, they had to find out information about their new country and particularly learn how to represent it at the upcoming mock “UN” conference on climate change. It was hard becoming a citizen of a new country. As Juliette P said as one of her classmates drew Canada, “Oh you’re so lucky !” It’s true that we are not all equal when it comes to our birthplace and many would like to have been able to choose differently !
Next, the classes welcomed several scientists into class. Professor T. Gauquelin from Aix-Marseille University came to talk about Biodiversity and Climate Change. Then Dr Wolfgang Cramer, climatologist at IMBE and a member of the IPCC talked about the causes of climate change and Dr Bruno Fady, a forest geneticist from INRA, showed the students the consequences of a changed climate on the Mediterranean forests using models. Finally activists from Surfrider, Sea shepherd and Greenpeace showed what people can do to limit the consequences of climate change.
At last it was the big day. The 3e and 4e students were all greeted formally in the cinema room and shown their seats. Many of them had dressed for their roles and all were nervous. “It felt almost real and professional,” comments Ella. They listened to an opening speech “by” Patricia Espinoza, the UN Executive Secretary (performed by Mrs Fady !) who welcomed the “delegates” and told them how important their job was. As Nathan says, “It felt like we were at the real COP 24 !”
Then they were divided into 3 groups : the developed countries, the developing countries and finally the lesser developed countries. Their goal was to come to an agreement on a proposal to reduce their emissions. As Deanne says, “It was hard to have some quiet and get everyone listening...It wasn’t easy !” Finally, each group had the chance to present their ideas to the whole group in a plenary session.
As Bria says, “I learned so much for this experience...now after this amazing experience I fully understand what is happening to our earth and how everyone can make a difference. I hope the real COP24 is as successful as ours and that the representatives of the countries can agree and find a way to change before it is too late.”
In conclusion and in the words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
If you would like to watch some of the debates, please click on this link : (thanks to Ari !)