Grade 7 United Nations Debate
Photo courtesy of Hyunkyoung (Helen) Kim, G7
“There’s only one way to learn. It’s through action.” - Paulo Coelho
This past December, the Grade 7 classes adopted the perspectives of different countries in order to simulate the United Nations and discussed the impact of climate change.
“Earth has been facing a tragic crisis where the temperature rises rapidly, mainly caused by CO2 emissions,” reported student journalist Hyunkyoung Kim. Each country in attendance brought to the table their main concerns and worries and hoped to work collaboratively with the others in attendance in order to determine possible solutions.
According to the delegates, the burning of fossil fuels within the transportation and agricultural sectors constitutes a main cause of CO2 emissions. The delegates were worried about the numerous health related issues that were increasing in their countries as a result of climate change problems. “Because of more heatwaves, there has been a 200% increase from 2010 to 2016 in the number of heatwave-related deaths,” noted one delegate from India. The German delegate raised concerns about the spread of diseases and viruses due to higher temperatures in previously cooler regions while the delegates from Brazil and South Korea indicated their worry about agricultural economies that have been impacted by droughts, farming activities in Brazil, or the changing pH balance within the oceans which impacts on fisheries in South Korea.
As the discussion progressed, delegates suggested possible solutions that included the implementation of factory filtration systems to prevent gross air pollution, the introduction of restrictions on who can drive and when, the development of further renewable energy sources, and even outlined the incorporation of more community-focused action plans to encourage citizens to be more environmentally minded.
While nervous at the outset of the simulation, students spoke with increasing confidence as they raised their placards to participate in the discussion, sharing insightful ideas inspired by thorough research. The main words emphasized by the delegates throughout the debate were “encouragement” and “participation,” as noted by journalist Kim, highlighting the spirit of the discussion as students sought to find plausible solutions to this current and very real global problem.
MYP Individuals and Societies Teacher & Model United Nations Supervisor