April 26, 2018 by Grace Mwaura
On 24th of March 2018, I along with 70 other participants, celebrated WWF’s Earth Hour Day with CliMates facilitating the first ever World Climate Simulation in Bhutan. We brought the UNFCCC Conference of Parties into our school, the College of Natural Resources, Lobesa, Punakha, Bhutan. We were supported and joined by the Dean of Academic Affairs, HoD of Forestry, and students from departments of Forestry, Agriculture, Animal Science, Sustainable Development, and Food Science and Technology to decide on the Planet’s Future.
In preparation for their roles, students who registered for the event were randomly divided into the various negotiating groups and emailed in advance their confidential briefing notes and other UNFCC history materials. As most participants did not have prior knowledge on climate change and UN negotiations, these documents helped them do further research which enabled us to have very interactive and participatory negotiations.
After two hours of intense negotiations with sessions of plenary statements, moderated and un-moderated negotiations and final pledges, the parties were able to limit global warming levels to an ambitious 2.30C, which was further reduced to 1.70C in the final round of negotiations. The use of C-ROADS software enabled us to visualize different scenarios of global warming and our actions to combat it.
The simulation was a huge success because it helped communicate essential aspects of international climate negotiations while also rewarding us with an immense learning experience as Climate Change volunteers. Participants were educated on various aspects of climate change such as adaptation, mitigation, Green Climate Fund, climate crises and many more.
We decided to make a contribution from our side to fight of climate change through our local actions. Thus, all the participants committed to reduce use of plastic bottles in college premises and are searching for donations and funds from the various sectors. We announced our resolution in front of the assembly of 700 students and I am now leading the implementation of this proposal.
As the COP in MyCity Asia officer, I was very pleased to use the tools of Climate Interactive in our carbon neutral Bhutan. It was the amazing experience for myself and the best way to let people understand about climate change negotiations and the urgency to act on climate change. See below our video from the event.