On the 9th of November, students from schools around London came together to honour the current COP26 event taking place in Glasgow by taking part in their own mock COP26. Within this, 10 countries were represented, spanning from China to the Marshall Islands. During the course of the conference, issues were raised, plans analysed and accumulated, as well as new targets being set.


The conference began with a brief introduction including the progress (mostly limited) progress of the countries since Paris 2015 and the importance of remaining within the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal. We were able to prepare introduction statements, which was challenging for countries such as Saudi Arabia, Chine and Russia (who I was a delegate for) as they attempted to defend their limited progress. This often resulted in claims to focus on elaborate goals with no action to support it.


After everyone had the chance to give their 1-minute high-level statement, the conference progressed to a general discussion stage, my personal favourite. This was a chance for countries to strike deals and hold other countries accountable for their actions. As Russia, we were able to negotiate with Ethiopia to gain cheap reforestation technologies as well as India for their cheap renewable energy solutions. Following this was a more structured style of debate, which was a chance to more formally question and bring to light problems with the other nations' current or planned actions.


The last section of the conference was more targeted to specific sections of improvement, in an attempt for the countries to make specific propositions for the whole party to vote on. We were divided into subcategories of forests/ agriculture, cities, oceans, and energy. Within these, the discussions were less heated as we had a shared goal to make propositions that would not only make a difference but help all countries involved. These propositions were then voted on- in which the majority were accepted. This then brought an end to the event.


The biggest message I took away from the 3 hours I spent delegating Russia, was that you can make deals, create new targets, and say you are willing to make a difference, but it all means nothing until you take action. It was such an inciting and motivating event and it was amazing to meet people who were interested in the same issues as me. Furthermore, Hannah Stainbank who was also present at the event, commented on it being ‘a really enriching experience’, that I would fully agree with.