A Sciences Po initiative aimed at mobilizing universities all over the world for the 2015 international climate negotiations, of which CliMates is a partner.

Paris climate 2015, a momentous event for both the climate and France

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“COP21”) will take place in Paris in December 2015. This international meeting will be of historic significance: countries will have to come up with a universal and binding agreement to limit climate change to 2°C above pre-industrial times.

Renewing the interest and confidence of public opinion will be at stake at COP21, as citizens, civil society, local governments and companies will be called upon to contribute by putting forward solutions and commitments of their own.

Led by two eminent professors (Bruno Latour and Laurence Tubiana), Sciences Po has decided to launch COP21: Make it Work. Through several ambitious projects, this initiative aims to help communities of students and researchers, as well as society in general, both in France and abroad, to address climate change and its related geopolitical issues.

Sciences Po will provide participating negotiators, activists, NGOs and other stakeholders with original resources that will be developed during the initiative. As a key institution in the political, administrative and media spheres, Sciences Po will play the role of a hub.

Showcasing research on climate change

For two years, Sciences Po will mobilize laboratories capable of working at the interface of social and natural sciences. This will be to equip the negotiators, the media and citizens with the tools necessary to visualize new geopolitical issues.

Showcasing research related to climate change at Sciences Po (the resources are numerous at the various research centers: CERI, CEVIPOF, LIEPP, Medialab, OFCE, IDDRI, etc.),

Development of tools for public debate in situations of crisis or controversy: FORCCAST, the “Politiques de la Terre” project, PRES, mapping of controversies, etc.

An exceptional opportunity for students of climate change studies

Having already developed academic resources on climate change issues (for example, two double degrees in Environment with the University of Paris VI or the Master in Environmental Policy at the PSIA), Sciences Po wishes to go further in order to prepare for COP21: mainstream climate change in the curricula through case studies, create new courses and specific research topics, launch a contest for best articles written by students on the subject;

Organization of several important debate exercises that explore different angles (diplomatic, economic, social…),

Mobilization of the entire Sciences Po community around the theme of climate change, a transdisciplinary and universal issue: financial institutions, companies from different sectors, local governments, all areas of public policy and all relevant academic disciplines.

The centerpiece: a student simulation of international climate negotiations in May of 2015

After the success of COP RW, a 150-student simulation of COP15 organized by Sciences Po in June 2011, our establishment wishes to organize a simulation six months before COP21. The aim will be twofold:

Offer to the students a dynamic and scientific pedagogical training (indeed, COP RW demonstrated how a simulation exercise is a powerful tool to mobilize and raise awareness).

Leading up to the simulation, students will be guided and participate in an in depth analysis of the stakes of COP21 and of the potential scenarios for its success. Sciences Po will mobilize students and experts from all continents and curricula.

Carry the voice of students at COP21, publicizing the results of the simulation and making them known to decision makers. (A second significant moment of the project will take place in November 2015 to accomplish this goal).

A close collaboration with partner institutions

Sciences Po has decided to open up this initiative to many establishments across the world. Thus, several partners such as Tsinghua University (Beijing), the London School of Economics (London), Columbia University (New York) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels) have confirmed their intent on associating professors and students to COP21: Make it Work.

We are partners of this event and will bring forth our expertise on student training on climate change as well as its network of universities.

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