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Hounslow schools debate response to Climate Change

Students from Hounslow representing countries from all over the world agreed on a ground-breaking initiative to combat the impact of climate change as part of a special event held last week.

Published: Friday, 20th December 2019

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Students from Hounslow representing countries from all over the world agreed on a ground-breaking initiative to combat the impact of climate change as part of a special event held last week. Ninety young people representing ten Hounslow secondary schools came together to mirror the debates the world’s leaders will be presenting at next month’s global Climate Conference in Madrid.

Each school was asked to represent a different country, researching their current position on climate change and sharing their country’s views with their global counterparts. The timely event was delivered by the InterClimate Network and hosted at Hounslow House.

In advance of the event, each school was given a country to research. The real position of these countries was discussed, as well as real solutions to reduce the impact of climate change. From the USA to Fiji, students gained a professional understanding of the impact of climate change globally and locally, as well as each country’s response to the global climate emergency.

Using the Paris agreement of 2015, students set out to discover whether those who signed up are achieving the targets they set out. The students concluded that not enough was being done. Their individual countries and others globally were falling short of what they had committed to which was allowing global emissions to continue to rise.

Using role play, the young people went from students to world leaders actively engaging in thought-provoking passionate debate. Working collaboratively, countries committed to making changes together to combat the threat of climate change.

Examples of this included:

Russia agreed to increase renewable energy by ten per cent by 2021. If this was achieved the USA agreed to re-sign to the Paris agreement. Fiji made an alliance with Chile, Australia and Indonesia to move to hydro electricity. Chile, Brazil and Nigeria agreed to build a green belt of trees collaboration. India and Russia set themselves the ambitious task of planting 400million trees in a day – breaking the current world record held by Ethiopia of 350million trees planted in one day.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce, said: “No one better understands the seriousness of the climate emergency than the young people who will be left to deal with the growing environmental challenges we face.

“The level of intelligent debate at the climate change conference was astounding. It was obvious that the students had thoroughly researched their allocated country and they put across their arguments in a passionate and educated way, and a number of local actions were going to be taken back to their schools.

“I felt immensely proud at their efforts and hopeful that their determination will be the driving force we need to really make an impact on the effects of global warming as we move towards the start of a new decade.”

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