CliMates drew inspiration from an innovative summer school project: COP RW. Organized in June 2011 at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po), in collaboration with the IDDRI (Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations), COP RW was a simulation of the 2009 Copenhagen negotiations, designed to answer the question: “what if the Copenhagen negotiations on climate change had gone differently?” Thus, COP RW : Conference of the Parties, Rewind and Rewrite.
For four days, 200 students played the roles of official negotiators and political figures, representing 19 countries, NGOs, and international institutions.
In contrast to what actually happened at COP15 in 2009, these students reached an ambitious accord, and demonstrated the possibility - in the context of countries' conflicting interests - to achieve a consensus on targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as on the financial & technical means to attain them.
Awakened by this experience and determined to make students' voices more influential, many of these students decided to launch a project enabling students from all around the world to research and share their knowledge on climate change. Soon joined by motivated students from various academic backgrounds, these 20 founders established a perennial framework of expression and of research, in order to bring forth a new vision on climate change, to develop and enhance a student and youth expertise on climate change.