On the 14th of June, Edgbarrow School became the venue for an inspiring Mock COP conference organised by Wellington College and the InterClimate Network. The event brought together students from Edgbarrow School, Holme Grange, Charters School, and representatives from the Wokingham Youth Council.

The conference aimed to provide young delegates with an immersive experience mirroring the international climate negotiations set to take place at COP28 in Dubai. It empowered students to voice their concerns about climate change while fostering social and climate action with a solid focus to inspire and enable them to “think globally, act locally.” 

A group of Wellington students will be designing a final document that seeks to represent, at COP28, the voice of young people and students concerned about climate change. They also aim to promote social and climate action to inspire change. The document will be presented to high-level decision-makers during COP28 in Dubai this coming December. 

During the Moc Cop conference, students acted as delegates from 14 nations, including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, EU, India, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Senegal, UAE (Presidency), UK, and USA. Through intensive research, captivating presentations, and spirited debates, they examined their countries’ progress towards climate targets and fostered collaborative action to tackle the escalating climate crises.

Strong opening statements talked of our ‘duty and responsibility’ to act and that ‘Climate Change knows no borders.’ During the conference, some observers noticed the highlights of the debate, such as the importance of human rights in the context of climate negotiations, loss and damage as a central theme, as well as the imperative to adapt and provide finance to drive the transition. 

Councillor Sarah Kerr, Executive Member for Climate Emergency and Resident Services at Wokingham Borough Council, observed the conference, providing valuable insights. She emphasised the UK’s commitment to renewable energy targets by 2035 and acknowledged grassroots pressure’s pivotal role in driving meaningful change.

32 Wellington students from the sustainability program and politics department actively participated in the conference, gaining essential skills such as comprehension of global climate issues, research and analysis abilities, debating and conflict resolution skills, public speaking confidence, understanding of alternative viewpoints, and a broader awareness of the need for student involvement.