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Photo by Christian Lue via Unsplash

Author

Lindsay Maizland

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Civics, History

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global

UN Climate Talks

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Synopsis
  • This timeline traces the history of the United Nations climate change agreements, protocols, and accords from 1992 to the present.
  • Students will learn how the UN Convention on Climate Change established the Conference of Parties (COP) as a way for countries to discuss climate change. 
  • Links to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, articles, and reports provide students with more information on the United Nations climate talks. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This is a valuable resource for understanding the history of climate action within the United Nations.
  • Students will learn that it takes time and effort to come to an international agreement.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The timeline features helpful links throughout.
  • The timeline does not feature updates from every single year from 1992 to the present.

Differentiation

  • Model UN clubs or government classes could use this timeline to see how international and local commitment to climate change action has changed over the last three decades.
  • Science classes could discuss the role that science data plays in COP meetings.
  • Other resources on this topic include this climate action tracker that shows which countries are meeting their emissions targets, this climate solutions simulator that shows the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions by country, and this article on international opinions on climate change.
Scientist Notes
This resource highlights the history of COP meetings from 1992 to the present. It records the disappointments and also successes achieved during this global meeting. This will be insightful for students to have a background on climate negotiations and policies that are influencing global climate actions. This is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.3.6-8 Examine the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.
      • D2.Civ.1.9-12 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions.
      • D2.Civ.11.9-12 Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.
      • D2.Civ.12.9-12 Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
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