Climate change summit

05 November 2012

ESRC Festival of Social Science
ESRC Festival of Social Science

As world leaders prepare for the latest round of climate change negotiations which are set to start in in Qatar later this month, sixth form students in west Wales will be holding their own climate change summit on Tuesday 6 November as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The students from Penglais, Penweddig and Bro Ddyfi schools, and Coleg Ceredigion, will focus on the politics of climate change, taking on the roles of some of the world’s most important and influential negotiators and provide some of the summit’s media coverage.

And, in true world summit style, the teams will be expected to try to reach a consensus position on climate change. In the course of the negotiations they will present a one minute statement and a poster on their stance.

Leading them through the preparations will be three members of staff at Aberystwyth University who have extensive experience of covering climate change summits.

Dr Mark Whitehead is a lecturer at the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences and a Research manager with the Climate Change Consortium of Wales. Mark will set the scene prior to the negotiations getting underway.

Sara Penrhyn Jones is a lecturer at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and has attended summits in Durban, Copenhagen and Cancun as a video journalist. Sara will talk about new-media coverage of climate summits, and how to ‘pitch’ the climate story.

Dr Carl Death is a lecturer at the Department of International Politics and has written extensively on Climate Change Politics. Carl will chair the mock climate change summit.

Dr Jenny Deaville, Research Development Officer for Social Sciences at Abersytwyth University is one of the event organisers.
“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Aberystwyth to discuss what is for everyone, such an important issue. We hope that by playing the roles of some of the key negotiators and the media, they will get some idea of how social science research influences our lives socially, economically and politically, both now and in the future,” she said.

“It is particularly timely that this event is being held now as the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change starts in Qatar on 27th November and lasts until 7th December 2012.”

The event takes place at the Department of International Politics and is being organised by Aberystwyth University as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 10th Annual Festival of Social Science which runs from 3rd to 10th November.

10th ESRC Festival of Social Science
‘Negotiating Climate Change’ A mock climate change summit for Year 12 pupils
6th November, 2012
Main Hall, International Politics Building, Aberystwyth University.

9.30am Setting the scene (Dr Mark Whitehead, Geography and Earth Sciences)

9.45am Film screening and talk (Sara Penrhyn Jones, Theatre Film and Television Studies) New-media coverage of climate summits, and how to ‘pitch’ the climate story.

10.30am Mock Climate Change Summit (Chaired by Dr Carl Death, International Politics). Teams have 30 minutes to prepare a one-minute opening statement and poster on their stance on climate change.

11am to 11.30am Coffee break (media team interview representatives of teams).

11.30am Opening statements delivered by a spokesperson from each team.  Debate takes place.

12.30pm Teams propose a vote on key issues, and make a short closing statement. Follow up interviews.

1.00pm Lunch and Close

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 3-10 November 2012.

With events from some of the country's leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 180 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues.

Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website ( You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival.


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