The 1st annual Washington University Climate Change Negotiation (WUCCN) Simulation was held at Washington University in St. Louis in November 2015. The event brought together a diverse group of students to simulate real climate negotiations, each representing one of the 196 countries that participated in the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in December. Students gained an understanding of the issues that will take center stage in Paris as well as an appreciation of the complexities that define our global community.
The first WUCCN followed the agenda of Workstream 1 of the ADP, working towards a negotiating text for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties. As the text produced from Workstream 1 was long and rather confusing (as UN documents tend to be), a single significant piece of text will be chosen as the focal point for the simulation.
This item will be pulled from the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which is a subsidiary body to the Convention that regularly meets since its establishment at COP 17 in 2011 (Decision 1/CP.17). The mandate of the ADP is to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties. This is to be completed no later than 2015, so that it can be adopted at COP21 and be implemented from 2020. The ADP adopted an agenda dividing its efforts into two workstreams:
- Workstream I is concerned with the 2015 agreement
- Workstream II is concerned with enhancing pre-2020 ambition on mitigation efforts
At the ADP’s February 2015 session in Geneva, Switzerland, the Group adopted the Geneva Negotiation Text (“GNT”), which has served as the basis for the negotiations of the 2015 agreement (the focus of Workstream 1). It is a compilation of options and proposals by Parties for inclusion in the 2015 agreement text. Issues up for discussion include mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and finance.