The Nice Climate Summit: Technology, Solutions, and Politics - a Student's Perspective
Kit Beresford

ISN student Kit, recounts the experience at the recent Nice Climate Summit, delving into the intersection of technology, solutions, and politics in the battle against climate change.


The Nice Climate Summit was this past weekend, and multiple Grade 11 and 12 students studying Environmental Sciences and Model UN were able to attend. We were able to observe multiple climate discussions between leaders such as the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, the Vice-Mayor of Tokyo, Shoichiro Chida, the Governor of Alexandria, Mohamed Taher El-Sherifhad, and many climate experts. We even had the opportunity to discuss environmental ideas and MUN with Olivier Poivre d'Arvor, the French Ambassador for the Poles and Oceans.

When meeting the Ambassador, we were able to highlight the issues we found most important as ESS and MUN students. We considered questions such as; if we are moving fast enough to combat climate change before irreversible effects take place? And how to approach this global environmental issue when certain countries do not commit enough to eco-friendly policies? These questions all connected to our future ISN hosted MUN, where we plan to address these issues in our own simulation of the Arctic Council.

The summit itself was incredibly informative, not only did we learn about new technologies being used to combat climate change, but we also learned about the political struggles in implementing eco-policies and the new commitments leaders are making for the planet.


As ESS students, we found the talks about technological solutions for climate change incredibly interesting. The discussions revolved heavily around the approach to new tech. Regarding how long new technology takes to be allowed on the market, the challenges of replacing old technology with new ones, and the responsible usage of technology. A particular highlight of the summit in terms of tech was a discussion led by Céline Olesen who is working with the company Climeworks on creating carbon extraction facilities. The discussions on the first day were incredibly techno-centric, however we also were able to hear more eco-centric perspectives especially during political talks.

The political talks appealed to both our ESS and MUN students as leaders, such as the Mayor of Nice, reflected on the challenges of becoming more environmentally friendly. We found that not all eco-centric policies are popular, such as the initial expansion of public transport and bike lanes in Nice. However being a politician involves making difficult decisions for the greater good and so these actions become necessary. And we also managed to hear about politically successful operations such as the zero waste initiative in Tokyo which went very successfully. We finally learned about direct action being taken for the future by leaders, such as the Mayor’s goal of making Nice fully plastic free by 2025! We appreciated these commitments to making real change as far too many climate discussions involve hypothetical rather than concrete answers to issues.


The summit itself had some controversy, where on the first day the location was met with protests due to Total Energy sponsoring the event. As MUN and ESS students, we reflected upon the consequences of having a company known for selling oil representing part of a climate summit. Does this pose conflict of interest? How can we ensure our discussions will still remain unbiased with this influence?

The fate of the climate is most certainly still unsolved, however the Nice Climate Summit 2023 has presented a positive future. Our new technologies, political action, and commitments to our planet motivate us as young people to look forward to a bright future, whilst still reflecting on where we can improve. We look forward to Nice’s next climate event; the UN Ocean Conference of 2025!