Blue Star Update, January 2016

Happy New Year and we hope you had a great Christmas break and are back in the full swing of things. We have seen tremendous work in 2015 and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with in 2016.


For each year of the Blue Star programme, we identify a civic society element which can act as an overarching theme for the work of the pupils. The additional civic society elements have been highlighted by some teachers as the reason they repeat the programme for a second or third time.  For 2015/16, we have decided to focus on Climate Change/COP21 in the wake of the conference in Paris at the end of November 2015.  Please note that is not compulsory to include this or any theme.  For those interested, below is a brief outline on what is going on with Climate Change/ COP21:

star blueIn 1992, the ‘Rio Convention’ was the first international political response to climate change which set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

star blueThe UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties. The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation.

star blueThe first COP took place in Berlin in 1995. Other significant COP’s since have included:

  • COP3 (1997) where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.
  • COP11 (2005) where the Montreal Action Plan was produced.
  • COP15 (2009) in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised.
  • COP17 (2011) in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.

star blueIn 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, aimed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

star blueThe conference attracted close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.

star blueCOP21 sets out a sweeping, long-term goal of eliminating net man-made greenhouse gas output this century. The outcome of the conference was hailed as the first truly global climate deal, committing both rich and poor nations to reining in rising emissions blamed for warming the planet.

And that’s a wrap! If you want any more information on anything discussed above, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll be more than happy to advise. Once again, Happy New Year to you all, and we wish you much success with the Programme.


-Ryan and the Blue Star team.


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