What does it mean to negotiate for the climate and to take decisions about the future of the planet? Leaving aside any government representatives, summits, media statements and reportages, a group of sixteen young people now can answer these questions! Because they participated in the first simulation of the United Nations Climate Change conference (COP) in Sofia that took place on 25th of November in Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", with the support of three Sofia based university eco-clubs.
No matter the area of their education and work, the participants played the roles of government delegates from all around the world. There were three delegations – Developed countries (the US, EU, etc.), (Fast) Developing countries group A (China, India, Russia, etc.) and Developing countries group B (Africa, small island nations, etc.) and only one aim – to find the best possible scenario for action that will limit the rising temperatures up to 2°C until 2100.
When do we have to start reducing the emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere? At what pace? Furthermore, what is the fair budget for the developed countries to support the transition of the developing ones? Put in a situation of "no fair share, no future", the participants admitted: "The direct involvement with the problem made us realise the urgent need of action and change!"
This was one of the most valuable outcomes for us – the simple practices that make people experience new kinds of situations, first of all help them get a global scale view and then lead their attention towards themselves. As a result they provoked deeper thoughts and made them realise/assess their role and attitude, as well as the opportunities they have to make an impact.
This is the best evidence for the positive results after COP in Sofia – the shared opinions about the changed perceptions of most of the attendants: "After taking part in this simulation, I have no doubt I will read the news and will take much more seriously the discussions and actions about fighting climate change!", shared one of the participants. Well done! - we say because that was the whole point!
The initiative was organised as part of the international campaign #ClimateChangingMe, dedicated to climate change action. The campaign aims to give a voice to all those ordinary citizens of the world who are impacted by climate change, yet often feel powerless and unheard. Officially the campaign is run by environmental аssociation Mladi Za Zemiata (Young Friends of the Earth Bulgaria), Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth Nigeria), A Sud (Italy) and Yasunidos (Ecuador).
COP in My City (CiMC) is created and led by young people around the world who are looking for change and are willing to start from themselves. CiMC was born to bridge the United Nations Climate Change conference and the people. Its creators believe that COP is a closed world for a big part of the global population but it affects all of us. Young people need access and understating of it!
By designing a toolkit and a simulation methodology in 2012, a group of young climate leaders started to organise their first simul-actions – simulation that lead to actions in Paris. Since then, they have played the Rio+20 summit in ten different cities and have proved that young people are ready to have an active role in the international negotiations for the climate and in the creation of the vision for a more sustainable world. In five years the initiative was conducted around 215 times in more than 30 countries and has reached more than 16 000 people around the world.