Model UN Conference 2023
On Friday 8th December, a group of A-Level Geographers had the privilege of attending a Model UN conference at Reading Town Hall, representing the USA and Brazil.
The conference kicked off with an inspiring talk from the Mayor of Reading, who spoke about the importance of stopping climate change and protecting the world for future generations to come. This was followed up by a keynote speaker who then set the ground rules for diplomacy and officially called for the conference to begin.
Several topics were debated and discussed at the event, including what countries are currently doing to mitigate climate change and how we can do even more in the future.
The debate began with each country's opening statement. It was interesting to hear how different countries were impacted by climate change and how different delegations held different roles: some providing capital and funding, some bridging the gap between developed and developing countries and others advocating for action by expressing the real life impacts climate change brought to their individual countries.
The Brazilian delegation spoke about their aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and the impact of deforestation on biodiversity and the indigenous community, as well as expressing our pride in the Amazon Fund and Brazilian Forest Code. During the debate we brought forward the tradeoff between economic development and environmental degradation, an issue which many less developed countries face.
The US delegation spoke about the importance of working together both globally and nationally to reach their collective goal of achieving net 0. They also emphasised how vital it was for developed countries to take advantage of their technology and new innovations in helping less developed nations achieve their own goal of carbon neutrality. During the debate, several smaller countries, including the Marshall Islands and larger countries such as China asked for advice and financial support in combating climate change, to which the US delegation agreed, further stressing the importance of working together.
During the second half of the debate, the teams split to form proposals. The Kendrick delegates worked alongside the delegates from Indonesia and the UK to tackle deforestation by targeting illegal logging and unsustainable agricultural practices. The proposal gained support from over half the other delegations, including the EU, UAE, South Africa, Chile, Barbados and more. This experience enabled us to develop our negotiation, public speaking and debating skills.
The second half of the day involved a more introspective look into our local community. We listened to speakers from the local council, MPs, the youth council and the non-profit organisation ‘Reading Can’ who spoke to us about our energy plans to help us reach our milestone of net-zero emissions by 2050. The panel invited questions and suggestions from all of us on possible solutions. Then each school was asked how they could help combat climate change and to write a proposal and pledge. We detailed the incredible work of our school's Eco Committee and suggested growing our small school garden as a possible green space.
After such an extraordinary day, it would be a shame not to share some ideas on how we can all help combat climate change. Something as small as walking or cycling more often can massively change our individual carbon footprint. Other ideas included helping out with Reading Can’s fundraisers and supporting Reading's Climate Festival by performing there.
One small step for us, grows to one giant leap for humankind.
By Dora and Moksha - Year 12