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CarbonCare InnoLab X The Hong Kong-America Center: UN Climate Change Conference COP25 Simulation
Date: February 7, 2020

The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) was held in Madrid, Spain in December 2019. Representatives from around 200 countries and subnational leaders from more than 40 countries continue to discuss operational questions of implementing Paris Agreement. In order to let Hong Kong youth to understand the negotiation process of COP, Hong Kong-America Center and CarbonCare InnoLab co-organised UN Climate Change Conference COP25 Simulation.

The event was held in Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu’s office on 18 January 2020. Mr Glenn Shive, Executive Director of The Hong Kong-America Center began the event with warm welcome remarks. Around 50 students from different universities were divided into 12 groups, each representing a country, including China, United States, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, etc. Each country had to hand in a national carbon reduction plan according to their situations, and decided how much they would contribute to the fund that help other countries on carbon reduction. In the process, these country teams would go through various discussion and negotiations.  

Each country member also has to play the role of sector representative, considering their country’s carbon reduction strategies from the view of their sector. Mr Joel Laykin- Secretary General, Independent Power Producers Forum (IPPF), Mr John Sayer- Research Director of CarbonCare InnoLab and Mr Glenn Shieve facilitated the cross-country meetings of the energy sector, the green NGO sector and business-and-economic sector respectively. 

During the negotiations, students learnt how to think from multi-perspectives and negotiation skills. At the cross-country negotiations in which developed and developing countries were paired-up to run a negotiation meeting. They had to use both sense and reason to persuade the other country to help them or aim higher. Students were especially exited in this session, the China-United States negotiation was particularly intense! When the country team made decisions, they had to meet the goal of keeping the world temperature below 2℃, as well as considering the benefit, capacity and the need for economic development of their own country. It was not easy at all!

After several discussions, the 12 country teams handed in their carbon reduction plan to the staff of CarbonCare InnoLab, who entered the results into a computer system developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Climate Interactive, calculating their likely impacts on future climatic conditions. The result showed that their decision would cause the world temperature to rise to 3.1℃ by the end of this century, causing the sea level to rise greatly, bringing more serious disasters to the world.

Apart from the game, various guest speakers where invited to share with us. They include Mr Robert Gibson- Adjunct Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability of HKUST, Mr Joel Laykin and Ms Waltraut Ritte- Founder of Knowledge Dialogues. Three young people have joined COP25: Tina Kwan and Natalie Chung- youth representative of CarbonCare InnoLab, and Lawrence Iu from Civic Exchange share their experience of joining COP as members of YOUNGO, a youth constituency of the UNFCCC.

We hope this event would lead participants to think about what their decision would bring to climate change, and to encourage them to contribute more to the climate issue. CarbonCareINnoLab strives to provide international climate negotiation training to Hong Kong youth, and will expand further through Paris Watch Youth Training Programme, preparing Hong Kong youth to join future COPs. Hope more and more Hong Kong myouth’s voices on the climate crisis could be heard!

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