Young man presents his ideas to a table of fellow students
Persuading fellow students at COP27 climate negotiation simulation ©

British Council, 2022

As COP28 focuses the world’s attention on climate change, there is an opportunity for young people to think about and discuss the challenges that key leaders face on this global issue.

The British Council is working with local partners to organise a series of climate negotiation simulation events for students across the UK, coinciding with the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), which takes place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023. 

These simulation events offer a face to face role-playing exercise based around the UN climate change negotiations using materials developed by Climate Interactive, part of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative

Students (aged 16-18) take on the different roles of those people who are actively working in this field: world leaders, non-governmental bodies (NGOs) and the media. Working in groups which represent a country, a region or a lobby group, the students are tasked with taking part in a simulation of a real-life climate negotiation. While each group looks at the issue from a different angle, they all must come together to produce a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global temperature from rising above 1.5%. 

Through the simulation, participants explore the rate of change and level of action that nations must take to address global climate change. During the negotiations, the students’ proposals are fed into a computer programme, which uses real-life data to model what the consequences of the proposals would be. This gives them the opportunity to better understand how climate negotiations, such as the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 operate. It also allows them the opportunity to work with students from other schools to reach a consensus on the issue.

Following successful events in Belfast and London in 2022, this year the events will also take place in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Manchester. The events will take place in the following locations across November-December 2023: 

16 November 2023 at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
23 November 2023 at The Senedd, Cardiff
27 November 2023 at William Hulme’s Grammar School, Manchester
30 November 2023 at the Great Hall, Belfast City Hall, Belfast 
1 December 2023 at British Council offices, Stratford, London

Find out more:

Read about the COP27 mock climate debate in Belfast.

Watch the video of the 2022 events in London and Belfast to find out more about the event