Ninth Grade Prevents Global Catastrophe in Mock Climate Summit
This past Friday, the ninth grade gathered in the Melhado Dining Room with one goal: to prevent the global temperature increase from exceeding 2°C.
Split into eight groups (India, China, US, United States Climate Alliance, EU, developed nations, developing nations, and climate activists), the class of 2026 partook in negotiations to adjust their peak emissions year, reductions year, reduction rate, prevention of deforestation rate, and afforestation rate. To mimic real climate negotiations, the "press" walked around, took photos, and interviewed various members from each group to hear how they felt about the alliances, contributions, and politics among each other.
The first round of negotiations culminated in a 2.5°C increase, essentially drowning the developing island nations. Subsequently, the second round contained one of the most memorable moments: a representative of the developing nations announced that they would move their emissions peak year to 2080 and ask for 500 billion dollars in aid. "The emissions peak year is crazy!" said a representative from the developed countries. After being criticized for their asking, the developing nations amended their numbers, causing a dramatic decrease in temperature.
Finally, during the third round of negotiations, students noticed that the United States was contributing oddly low numbers, 20 billion dollars in comparison to the EU’s 250 billion. Outraged at a lack of commitment, the summit closed with targeted speeches toward the US. In the end, all eight groups were able to work together and agree on data that would ultimately result in a temperature increase of 1.9°C, accomplishing their goal.
“As a journalist I felt it was almost my responsibility to be completely absorbed in the events that would take place. My pencil never left my hand and I don't think I ever stopped writing. I’m not sure how journalists manage documenting events like this all the time because by the end I was very exhausted. “
Zari Whyld-Thomas '26
“The experience felt very immersive. It felt like we were actually representing places trying to resolve problems and work out solutions and fair agreements. When bad decisions were made, everyone was angry and felt that the decision wasn’t fair or needed improvement to be fair. In the end, everyone worked together to solve the main problem of keeping the temperature from going above 2 degrees. It showed how we can all come together to solve real world problems. The main problem was difficult to solve, and some countries and groups had to make some sacrifices to solve the problem. “
Nate Mette '26
“I feel the collaboration and arguments between the countries were very impactful for something like a climate summit. People brought good ideas to the board, and I feel that they supported it well. It wasn’t just people spitting out random thoughts, people were actually planning on what to say then they were actually expressing it. I also think that the arguments between the people were very powerful. Thoughts about climate change were defended properly against callings from other countries. People negotiated well on how they could reduce climate change in their country. Some people worked well together while others didn’t really. Countries pointed out other countries for their lack of contribution to helping neighboring countries which I thought was very powerful.”
Selman Eris '26