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Inside Year 12s 'Mock' G7 Debate
For Waingels’ Mock G7 Conference this year, I was part of a group of Year 12 students debating issues surrounding the ocean. The ‘real’ G7 Conference is a 2-day forum for the most influential countries to come together annually and discuss potential solutions to the most pressing shared issues, before they conclude and write a Final Communiqué to record the agreed actions.
This year the UK hosted the G7 Presidency in Cornwall, whilst we at Waingels hosted our own ‘Mock’ G7 Conference in Yellow Zone. Despite the lack of seaside views, this didn’t stop serious debate about pressing issues taking place as we took up roles as representatives for Canada (my team) and the UK, and had to come to our own agreements.
The UK brought up the issues of overfishing and ocean waste, as well as the high pollution caused by shipping and transportation for trade. To combat these issues, our UK team suggested re-engineering British vessels to run on hydroelectric generators which could be powered whilst traversing the oceans. Renewable energy was a running theme throughout the conference with discussions of biofuels from the UK and a push for wind power in Canada. The Waingels Canadian team had a special interest in ocean action since we were keenly aware of the 300,000 jobs supported by the ocean economy in Canada, so a shift towards renewable energy was one of our central focuses.
Another initiative was coastline conservation, an essential part of combatting damage caused by global warming. The UK suggested the use of the Navy to protect the coastlines and Canada had a more natural approach with a focus on seagrass to counter ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is when carbon dioxide gas dissolves into the ocean which lowers the pH and makes the ocean more acidic and therefore causes problems for ocean life. Canada then also suggested greater awareness about ocean issues through ocean education as an essential for long term change.
This whole debate happened through a structured format which us Year 12s had prepared for by researching for the respective roles such as Chairman, Head of State, Finance and Youth Ministers, and Sherpas. The summit order began with speeches from both Heads of State and concluded with the votes for the Final Communiqué on the final aims to tackle global ocean issues.
It was a really fun experience for all those involved, and for me it was brilliant to have an insight to the systems within real life conferences on global issues. I got a lot out of the Mock G7 and now have a much better understanding of not just ocean acidification but also international relations, and I found it really interesting to see first-hand some of the conditions needed for such pivotal agreements to take place.