Connecting COP21 Paris climate talks to your classroom

December 17th, 2015 by onair_admin

5 Things You Need to Know About the Paris Climate Talks (COP21)

Greenpeace breaks down the COP21 in layman’s terms. Christine Ottery’s article is chock-full of information that will surely spark a conversation in the classroom or help shape a lesson plan.

5 takeaways in a nutshell:

  1. Why is it called COP21?
  • It’s the acronym for the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  1.   Why do these talks matter?
  • We need to agree on a plan to avoid the worst impacts of climate change: severe droughts, floods, and storms.
  • We also need to come together to supporting vulnerable countries and communities who may be affected by climate change.
  • There are some things we need to iron out before we can move forward and healthy conversation helps facilitate change. For an example, some nations, including an alliance of small islands, think the 2 degree Celsius threshold is too high. They believe we should stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, which is the level of warming we may already be locked into.
  1.  What do we hope will come out of negotiations?
  • Legally binding treaty instead of a declaration or other empty promise.
  • Holding countries accountable for the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
  1.   That’s great, but surely it all depends on political will, right?
  • Right. The political landscape is looking a lot more promising than it has in the past.
  • Note the historic China-U.S. climate agreement announced last November.
  • G7 agreement to de-carbonize over the course of the century, aiming for zero emissions by 2100.
  1. Is there anything I can do?
  • Get OnAir if you aren’t already and join us to save our air! 
  • Greenpeace writer Christine Ottery offers some suggestions. 

Other Resources:

10 Things To Know About The U.N. Climate Talks in Paris

Interactive infographic about global climate change

Even More Infographics about climate change

Kids for COP21

Kids for COP21 Facebook page

  • From the Facebook page,  “Ten schools across 5 continents have come together to teach kids about climate change and deliver a message to world leaders at the Paris climate summit.”

Kids for COP21: Kids talk to world leaders and demand action on climate change

  • A short YouTube Video