Model UN Climate Conference

The Cheltenham Town Hall rang with the heated voices of debate and diplomacy, controversy and agreement as we created alliances, but also directed accusations at each other on Thursday the 23rd of November.

Our 15 LC3 girls were separated to represent four different countries - Japan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and America - for the Model UN Climate Conference. Each one of the countries had very different roles and viewpoints to present to the delegation, such as the actions that each country has taken towards achieving their Paris Agreement targets and plans for the future. It was a largely non-competitive and relaxed environment, except for a few instances when the debate got a little hostile and the Chair reminded us to remain calm. 

The day opened with a welcoming introduction, which was then followed by a short introduction from each country to briefly outline their viewpoints, current state (in terms of the environment) and actions with a variety of opinions and statistics. This heralded the opening of the debate, which was a chance to make or break alliances between countries, argue over proposals and concoct plans for different initiatives.

Each country had three initiatives to choose from, and we had to prioritise one or two to suit our personal needs. Each initiative regarded something different - technology and the city, forests, and the ocean. As delegates for Japan, we considered the benefits of investing in each initiative and settled on prioritising the ocean and the city. Shortly after, we were presented with lectures from environmental experts who intrigued us with terrifying statistics and information regarding our ever-changing world, the significance of the Paris Agreement and the impact that we’ve made upon this world.

A variety of schools and pupils attended, with Sixth Formers to ten year olds in primary school pupils. As we approached the end of the day, all the students were placed into separate groups to participate in different workshops regarding the reduction of fossil fuels, charities, and how to spread environmental awareness in school and our local community. It was interesting to see a range of ideas and to tell others about environmental awareness in CLC, such as the Environmental Society and Upcycled Fashion.

We were all unwilling to leave the building at the end of the day, as we didn’t want such an entertaining and rewarding experience to end. During the day, we were given an insight into the minds of diplomats and the decisions that they have to make. It has also made us more aware of the environmental crises that the world has to face, extended our knowledge regarding law, the environment and current affairs, and the generally sharpened our public speaking, debating and evaluative skills.

The Model UN Conference was an event which seamlessly balanced entertainment, involvement and education. Would we recommend it? Without a doubt; we unanimously agree that it is an experience which we would highly recommend to other years.

Larissa (LC3)