Arriving at the British Council, Alice, Sophie, Rachel, Sofia and I collected our name tags which stated, ‘UN Climate Conference, Fossil Fuel Lobbyists’, a role we had been assigned at random.
Knowing that we had a difficult task ahead of us to convince the delegates at our mock COP27 event to invest in more fossil fuels, we immediately had to adopt a sense of pragmatism. After the keynote speakers outlined the proceedings of the day, we immediately jumped into action, delegating duties, compiling research and creating our opening statement, which we then had to give to the rest of the conference and numerous cameras, including the BBC.
After we had told the conference our plans, the negotiations began. These few hours were by far the most exciting of the conference. What started as gentle proposals ended in us offering Quality Streets in the form of “investment bribes” as we settled more into our roles as lobbyists!
The negotiations came to a halt as Alice and I gave a press conference to address our questionable motives as fossil fuel lobbyists. Despite our best efforts, the conference ended successfully for the other delegates, as they effectively reached a proposal to bring global emissions down to below 2°C.
The whole experience was beyond fascinating and collaborating with other passionate young people made the conference very enjoyable. The British Council showed us the important contribution young people have in the discussion about climate change.
Furthermore, our challenge as lobbyists to go against the purpose of the conference meant that we had to work together well as Surbiton High School students, using our different skillsets to help further our plan.
Overall, the COP27 experience was entirely beneficial, entertaining and useful.
We even ended up on the BBC Six O’ Clock News!