By Monica Lafon, Master Environmental Policy
Monday September 30, 2013.
Q&A with Sarah Bendahou, Dual-Master in Environmental Science and Policy, PSIA.
Q: The nineteenth session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) will be held from 11 to 22 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. Why do a COP 19 simulation at Sciences Po?
A: A COP 19 simulation at Sciences Po is an event different from everything else Sciences Po Environnement has done so far and that would bring together many students, whether directly concerned about climate change or not. It could be a valuable experience for those who participate as they get to feel what it’s like to sit around a table and discuss our planet’s future.
Q: Who initiated this idea and what is the main goal?
A: Warsaw in Paris is part of a larger project undertaken by CliMates, a student think-and-do tank based in Paris and advocating for innovative solutions to climate change. The project is called COPinMyCity, and is about bringing the ongoing negotiations to students’ communities and their respective cities.
The aim of this youth-led project is to bridge the gap between climate negotiations (a.k.a. COPs) and the mainstream public, fostering action and education about climate change locally.
Q: How is this simulation going to develop and when?
A: This simulation will be a half-day-long exercise, in the format of a workshop, during the first week of November, preceding the actual COP 19. It will consist of a series of negotiation rounds between the different delegations, until an agreement is reached to limit the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius.
Q: Who can participate?
A: Anyone interested can participate! You just have to make sure you’ll be able to prepare for it a few days before by reading the debriefing notes Sciences Po Environnement will provide, depending on the delegation you’ll be part of.
Q: Has it been done previously and if so what were the results?
A: Yes, but at much larger scales, starting with the simulation of Copenhagen Rewind and Rewrite at Sciences Po in June 2011; followed later by Paris+20 in June 2012, ahead of the Rio+20 Conference. They both had great outcomes and were very close to real-life negotiations.
Q: Why did you decide to get involved?
A: I am currently in my second year of the Dual-Master in Environmental Science and Policy. It is my last semester of courses at Sciences Po and I thought being part of Sciences Po Environnement would make me contribute to activities that should help raise environmental awareness in our student life.
I’m in charge of organizing the simulation at the events department, along with a few other members, mainly for the aim of this project but also because I liked the fact it would enable me to work both with Sciences Po Environnement and CliMates.
Don’t miss this week at Sciences Po:
Nicolas Hulot, président de la Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme
Jean JOUZEL, climatologue, membre du GIEC
Mathilde IMER, vice-présidente de l’association étudiante CliMates
IPCC 2013 Report