Country Background Information: European Union

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Country Background Information: European Union

European Union Flag

For the purposes of these negotiations, the 27 countries of the EU are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

If possible, download these two documents to your phone, so that you can refer to them later:

Key EU facts


EU flag

The European Union is composed of 27 diverse member states. The EU more than met its 2020 target of 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The European Climate Law sets the 2050 target of becoming the world’s first climate neutral continent. Between 2014 and 2020 the EU committed EUR 14 billion to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries. Source: Flickr / Thijs ter Haar


Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world based on income. Only 2 500 km2 in size, its territorial GHG emissions are much lower than other EU countries. However, their per capita emissions are one of the highest in the world due to a more energy-intensive lifestyle.


One of the most visited European destinations, Paris is also significant as a landmark for climate negotiations. In 2015 at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties, 195 nations agreed to sign the Paris Agreement which aims to “keep the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels” and pursue a limit of 1.5 C.


Croatia joined the European Union in 2013; the newest member of the EU. Compared to other EU countries which focus on climate change mitigation, the government of Croatia’s climate change policy is focused on adaptation. Because of its coastal location, around 15% of the country is at risk from flooding caused by rising sea levels and extreme weather events. Source: Flickr / Andrey


Germany has the largest economy in Europe, powered by its biggest industry–automobile manufacturing. Through improvements in engine efficiency and fuel alternatives, this industry has seen significant reductions in GHG emissions. So far, Germany has managed to reduce its total emissions to 36% below 1990 levels, yet it remains to be the biggest contributor to EU emissions.


Malta currently has the lowest GHG emission among all EU countries, with only 2 Mt CO2eq. Investment in new generation capacity, fuel switching and alternative sourcing of electricity contribute towards the rapid decrease in emissions since 2012.

wind farm at sea

Denmark generates the highest wind power in Europe. In 2019, more than 47% of the country’s electricity was from wind energy. Denmark also exports wind energy to neighbouring countries. Source: Flickr / Kim Hansen

Olive Trees

Olive oil is one of the top agricultural exports from the EU, providing 67% of the world’s olive oil. Scientists predict that olive yield will be affected as drought and pest infestations increase with climate change.

Nuclear Plant

Nuclear power is significant in France’s energy and economy. Around 75% of France’s electricity is from nuclear power. It is also able to export electricity from nuclear energy, earning them around EUR 3 billion per year. Source: Flickr / IAEA Imagebank

Refugees Welcome Sign

Since 2015, about 2 million refugees have come to the EU. Climate change is expected to cause further migration. The EU recognizes this and has set out policy discussions on how they could support and assist other countries in addressing migration as an adaptation strategy. Source: Flicker / Ilias Bartolini

Country Background Information: China

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Country Background Information: China

Chinese Flag

If possible, download these two documents to your phone, so that you can refer to them later:

Key country facts


great wall of china

The Great Wall is one of the most popular historial attractions in China. Built from 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD as a military defence, the Wall extends to 20,000 km. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.


On the central coast of China is its biggest city and financial centre; Shanghai. While the city booms economically, its coastal location makes it vulnerable to extreme weather such as flooding. This threatens infrastructure, people, businesses and other economic activities.

panda bear

Pandas are native to China. Despite being a popular conservation icon, giant pandas remain vulnerable to climate change and habitat destruction.


Urban pollution, including haze and smog, is one of the biggest problems in major Chinese cities. This is caused by smoke from the many vehicles, steel factories, and coal-fired power plants. According to recent research, greenhouse gases potentially contribute to the increasing severity and frequency of haze, exacerbating health risks in cities. Source: Flickr / Thomas Galvez

factory workers

Around 30% of China’s population are employed in industry including mining, iron, steel, aluminum, machinery, and textiles. China is the largest exporter of goods in the world. This also makes it the biggest ‘carbon exporter’: it emits a significant amount of greenhouse gas through making goods for other countries. Source: Flickr / Chris

city people

China has the largest population of any country in the world. With over 1 400 million people, about 20% of the world’s population live in China. However, low birth rates due to government policy and personal choice mean their population is ageing rapidly.

power plant

As part of its efforts to reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants and to shift to non-fossil fuel energy source, China is increasing its investments in nuclear energy. It currently has 45 nuclear power reactors and is building 12 more. Source: Flickr / Shubert Ciencia

cement factory

China’s manufacturing sector contributes about 40% to its GDP. The cement industry in particular, is one of its largest, along with steel and chemical fertilizers. These however are also carbon-intensive industries and are the largest sources of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter with emissions increasing through 2018 and the first half of 2019. Source: Flickr / Jonathan Kos-Read

gorges dam

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric dam built along the Yang Tze River. 660 km long with a 22,500 MW capacity, it is the largest power station in the world. Because of social and environmental issues surrounding its construction, it is also considered by campaigners as the most controversial power station. Source: Flickr / Harvey Barrison

rice fields

425 million are employed in agriculture, producing food for 20% of the world’s population. Crops include rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton and soybeans. About 74% of their total nitrous oxide emissions (a greenhouse gas) come from fertilizer applications.

Country Background Information: Bangladesh

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Country Background Information: Bangladesh

Bangladesh flag

If possible, download these two documents to your phone, so that you can refer to them later:

Key country facts



Agriculture is the main industry employing 87% of its rural population. 39% of Bangladesh’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture which is in itself very vulnerable to floods and drought. Rice is the main crop grown. Source: Flickr /IRRI


Rickshaws, both pedal and motorised, are one of the most common public transportation system in Bangladesh. Transport is Bangladesh’s fastest growing sector and is where Bangladesh’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are focussed. Source: Flickr /IRRI


Poverty remains prominent in Bangladesh, where around 22% of the population live below the international poverty line. Many of its rural areas are in riverside and coastal communities that are continuously affected by coastal flooding, river erosion and salt water intrusion. These affect their land and livelihoods making the poor especially vulnerable to climate change.

bengal tiger

The Bengal Tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh and is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN. According to a report by the WWF, continuous sea level rise in the coastal area of Sundarban could significantly reduce their habitats and further endanger tiger populations.

stilt houses

Two thirds of Bangladesh is less than 5m above sea level. Stilt houses are structural solutions for floodprone areas.With around 700 rivers and an extensive river network, up to 70% of the country becomes flooded every year. Tropical cyclones can also cause coastal flooding. Both these risks could increase as the climate changes. If global temperatures continue to increase to 2°C, scientists predict that almost 20% of Bangladesh would eventually be below sea level. Source: Flickr / UCL Development Planning Unit


All children between the ages of 6 and 10 must attend school. Access to education remains a challenge for vulnerable groups, particularly working children, disabled children, indigenous children and those in remote areas or living in extreme poverty. Boys are more likely to miss school than girls, when required to help support their families. Source: Flickr / IRRI

boats on river

Bangladesh lies on a delta of rivers emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Is it low lying and therefore prone to flooding and the effects of tropical cyclones and sea level rise. The government of Bangladesh spends 6-7% of its annual budget on adapting to climate change already. Source: Flickr / IRRI

dhaka uni

Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, with a population of 21 million people. The textile industry, making clothes for international markets, is centred on urban areas and is the country’s biggest industry. Source: Flickr /IRRI

busy city

There was rapid urbanisation between 2000 – 2010. 55% of the urban population live in slums. Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries with a population of over 160 million. Source: Flickr / Francisco Anzola


Bangladesh sits on the Tropic of Cancer. Monsoon rains last from June to October. North-western Bangladesh can experience drought conditions when there is little rain before or after the monsoon. Climate change is expected to change the rainfall pattern in a way which will lead to more frequent droughts. Source: Flickr /IRRI

Country Background Information

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Country Background Information

Russian Federation

Climate Change Negotiations for Schools

Simulating a world climate change conference

Guidance for Teachers

  • Notes for teachers – this contains everything you need to know to run the activity. Start here!
  • Curriculum Links
  • Print:
    Pack 1 (double sided if possible) – note these are personalised;
    Pack 2 (table flags, must be printed in colour, could be laminated), or as Pack2b names (which can be printed in black and white).
    Pack 3 (sticky labels for printing on standard 8 row label sheets or print on paper and use school lanyards),
    Optional Pack 4 (country fact sheets for reference in class),
    Pack 5 for Module 4, Market Places.
  • PowerPoint slides for use in all modules. Edit this before use to assign students to each country.

Please let us know if you have used these resources by emailing It would be great if you could also tell us which year group you used it with, how many students there were and how it went. This will help us refine it in the future.

Module 1 – Introduction

Module 2 – homework

Module 4

Module 5

Module 6

Useful Tools:


Silver Geographical Association Publishers Award 2018This work was funded by the Royal Meteorological Society and is supported by Rimini Protokoll, based on their theatre production for DeutschesSchauspielHausHamburg: World Climate Change Conference , 2014.

We are delighted that this resource has been awarded a Silver award by the Geographical Association. The citation given reads “Simulating a world climate change conference is a free, online and multimedia resource, relevant for both GCSE and A level specifications. It provides a wealth of high-quality, sophisticated and up-to-date materials including video input from one of the British delegates to the Paris climate talks. The judges felt that the quality of the resource would enable teachers to confidently set up an excellent simulation for their classes.”

This resource has also been Highly Commended by the Scottish Association for Geography Teachers.

You may also be interested in the higher level version, not specifically for schools, created by Climate Interactives using the CRoads model and the model climate conferences for secondary schools run by in local council chambers.

David Warrilow, UK representative to the Paris negotiations, has published this article: Science and the international climate negotiations

stripes Europe

Climate Change Resources

Summary of Weather and Climate links in the KS3 2014 National Curriculum (England).

   Curriculum LinksOther useful resources
Module 1 – Climate Change Nuts and BoltsScheme of WorkGreenhouse GasesGeography, ChemistryClimate Change Resources
 RSC resourcesBackground info for teachersGeographyClimate, Climate Change and Climate Engineering
  Scheme of Work  
  Leaves as Thermometers  
  Sediment Core Image  
  Sediment Core Key  
  Tree Ring Images  
  Teacher Information Sheet – Ozone  
  Ozone Layer Questions  
Module 2 – Do not believe the hype .. or Should IScheme of Work Geography, Chemistry 
 Student Challenge Sheet   
 Persuasive Presentation – Climate Change  Climate Change Negotiations Resource
 Climate Change ScepticismTeachers’ GuideGeography, Chemistry, Combined Science 
  Debate Card 1  
  Debate Card 2  
  Climate Change Scepticism PowerPoint  
Module 3 – Climate Change all around me (Indicators)Scheme of Work Peer AssessmentGeography,  ChemistryClimate Change in the UK
Module 4 – so what (Impacts)Scheme of Work   
 Afsana MysteryInstructions  
  Criteria levels  
 Day After TomorrowFact or Fiction  
  Answer Sheet  
 De BonoDe Bono Hats  
  Group Summary  
 Global DimensionScheme of WorkFrench 
  Climate Change global dimension – staff  
 Global Dimension – FloodingScheme of Work Geography 
  Session 1 – Flooding  
  Session 2 – Flooding  
  Session 3 – flooding and biodiversity  
  Session 4 – Doctor’s report  
  Session 4 – Flooding and Disease  
  Session 5 – flood prepare & prevention  
  Session 6 – Flooding Council  
 MigrationMemory Map  
  Card sort  
 Polar BearPowerPoint  
  Agony Aunt template  
 Impacts PowerPoint   
Module 5 – Climate Change Champions (Mitigation)Scheme of Work   
 Carbon Neutral HouseInstructions  
  Ideas Template  
  Sheet A  
  Sheet B  
  Sheet C  
  Sheet D  
   Sheet E  
  Sheet F  
 Recycling Food MilesFood Miles Factoids  
  Food Miles Factoids as pdf  
  Food Miles Articles  
  Recycling Factoids  
  Recycling Factoids as pdf  
 Sustainable LivingChallenge Point Scores Sheet Summary  
  Challenge 1 – compost  
  Challenge 1 – organic  
  Challenge 1 – food table  
  Challenge 2 – kite  
  Challenge 3 – word search  
  Challenge 5 – community classroom  
  Challenge 6  
  Challenge 7  
  People Points  
  Planet Poster  
  Student Diary Challenge  
Module 6 – Making the most of it (Adaptation)Scheme of Work   
 What is Climate Change Adaptation   
 What is the Adaptation Challenge    
 Why is Climate Change Adaptation Important?   
 Peer Assessment   
 Student Challenge Sheet   
TreesScheme of Work Biology (plant reproduction, photosynthesis), Chemistry (carbon cycle) 
 How a Tree Works Scheme of WorkModel comments  
  Peer Assessment  
 Why are Trees Important Scheme of WorkExtended Teacher Notes  
  Sustainable Forest Management Questionnaire  

General Resources

Diamond Ranking sheet


The Climate Change Schools Resources were developed by the Climate Change Schools Project, based at the then Science Learning Centre in Durham and led by Krista McKinzey. A large number of teachers and schools in North East England were involved in their development.

They have subsequently been updated by the Royal Meteorological Society.

Climate Change Resources

Some introductory PowerPoint presentations suitable for more advanced students, teacher CPD etc.:

Atmospheric Structure

Atmospheric Composition

Solar Radiation

Climate Feedback Mechanisms

Ozone Depletion

The Climate Change Schools Resources were developed by the Climate Change Schools Project, based at the then Science Learning Centre in Durham and led by Krista McKinzey. A large number of teachers and schools in North East England were involved in their development.

They have subsequently been updated by the Royal Meteorological Society.

Climate Change Teaching Resources

Secondary geography resources based on the 2021/ 2022 IPCC report

Climate negotiations resource for KS3/ 4 geography.

Resources to teach the climate of the last 2.6 million years.

Using Tree Rings to teach past climate change.

Past and future global and UK climate change resources from Weather and Climate: a Teacher’s Guide

A summary of the IPCC’s 1.5 Degree climate change report.

A climate change concept cartoon, produced in conjunction with Millgate House.

In Depth Climate and Climate Change information from the Met Office .

In Depth Carbon information from the Met Office.

Climate Change Schools Project Resources.

Climate change updates from the 2013/ 2014 IPCC report for geography teachers and science teachers with selected FAQs and downloadable figures.

Climate change updates from the 2013/ 2014 IPCC report for A level geography

Climate change Scheme of Work for year 8 geography, originally developed by Charlotte Woolliscroft at Lawrence Sheriff School:

Climate change teaching resources for GCSE science.

Climate/ climate change teaching resources for Scottish Curriculum for Excellence level 3/ KS3.