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Students from Manchester Metropolitan University represent global leaders in their own virtual COP26 summit

  • Students split up into groups representing key players in the global economy and climate
  • Groups negotiated and voted on seven different themed climate resolutions and look for solutions 
  • Event held online and students invited to take part

Students from Manchester Metropolitan University put themselves froward to take part in a mock version of Cop26 climate change summit. 

The summit, hosted in Glasgow, served as an event for key leaders from around the world to meet and discuss climate change resolutions.

The students taking part were split up into groups, each representing different key players in the COP26 conference, including the US and smaller countries from around Europe, and international companies such as Shell.

Each group was given a “starter pack” prior to the event, which provided information about the climate aims of the country/company they were representing.

Groups elected a speaker to prepare an opening statement summarising their thoughts on climate change and potential resolutions.

They then broke out into one-on-one meetings between other groups to discuss and argue solutions to global climate issues, keeping the political motivations of their country in mind.

Emissions

Following these one-on-one meetings all the groups would then come together to discuss the climate solutions they managed to agree upon, and the areas in which the groups disagreed.

I took part in the event myself, representing the USA along with two other students. 

Some of the topics we discussed with other groups included reducing emissions, coal use and electric vehicles.

Discussing with different groups the potential solutions around certain topics, and hearing their differing viewpoints, was an engaging and informative experience.

The event was organised and hosted by Matthew Carney, a PhD student at MMU. Members of the UN World Food Program also supported the event.

Matthew, one of the participants, said: “ As somebody that does a lot of teaching in sustainable development, often we talk about the concepts of sustainable development, but how they are applied in the real world, with politics and different motivations sometimes isn’t communicated.

"So I thought this was an important event to provide that real world context and show the challenges as to why we struggle to reach suitable development.

“There were some technical difficulties with It being hosted online. It also maybe wasn’t advertised in the best way it could have been.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the event and felt it was a success. As someone who is not massively interested in climate change, it was a new experience for me. I enjoyed learning about different countries views on particular climate matters and it was interesting to get a sense of what would be happening at the COP26 event in Glasgow.  

While I was taking part in the event I was asked to go on an MMU radio show to talk about the event and my role within it.

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