As the U.N. climate negotiations steadily tick toward their deadline of releasing a new agreement in 2015, a global effort led by young people to have their voices heard and taken seriously in the negotiations is spreading worldwide. The initiative, COP in MyCity, is using Climate Interactive’s World Climate Exercise as the basis of their campaign to help young people understand the negotiations and set their priorities for the global outcome.
Already, they have held 46 events worldwide with over 1300 people participating in places ranging from Paris to Kathmandu to Accra. Climate Interactive first developed the World Climate Exercise in 2009. Since then, people have used the simulation in a wide range of settings, from Fortune 500 companies to Austrian middle schools. This is the first time, however, that we know of an effort to use World Climate with such a widespread global impact.
COP in MyCity is a project of the CliMates, a youth organization founded in Paris after a group of students participated in a climate negotiations simulation held at the university, Sciences Po, in 2011. The COP in MyCity effort has grown out of a campaign CliMates ran around Rio+20 that got young people holding MyCity+20 events locally in the lead up to the Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development negotiations. These events got groups discussing the sustainable development outcomes they wanted to see from the negotiations. In some cases, the event organizers then traveled to the Rio negotiations and advocated for the group positions they had come up with at their simulation event. The goal of COP in MyCity is similar. CliMates has sent delegations of young people to many of the recent United Nation negotiations on climate, including the most recent UN climate conference (COP19) in Warsaw, Poland last November. They intend to continue to help youth participate in the climate negotiations and elevate the impact of their events worldwide.