Responsible leadership is deeply embedded within the CEMS culture and ethos and in recognition of this commitment, this month we proudly celebrate the Model UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). For over 15 years CEMS academics from the ’Business and the Environment’ faculty Group have encouraged students to take part in the Model UNFCCC. The Climate Change Strategy course is a semester-long The lecture series is followed by a unique two-day simulation of UN climate negotiations, students from participating CEMS Schools play the roles of government, non-government and industry representatives.

"Now and into the future we will need brilliant, creative and determined minds to be part of these UN processes – so I am delighted that so many talented, young people are part of the Model UNFCCC on shaping a post-Paris world. This will inspire them to engage in the crucial work of the UN on climate action on behalf of people everywhere."

Patricia Espinosa, former Executive Secretary UNFCCC

15 years of Model UNFCCC

More than 1000 CEMS participants

More than 10 Schools

​​“We need climate-positive leaders now more than ever - CEMS with its climate-related course portfolio, such as the Climate Change Course and Model UNFCCC Roleplay, prepares the leaders of tomorrow for the decade of action on climate change. Great to see many fellow CEMSies in important sustainability positions paving the way towards a low-carbon future."

Pascal Vuichard, Climate Change & Sustainability | Risk Advisory, Deloitte China

CEMS Schools that have hosted the two day role play event

  • Rotterdam School of Management
  • Corvinus University of Budapest
  • University of St. Gallen
  • University of Cologne
  • SGH Warsaw School of Economics
  • Bocconi
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“It was on an autumn night in 1996 in the lobby of a hotel in the city of Cologne that professors of eight well-respected CEMS business schools, got together to share their teaching experiences on environmental management issues and started on a journey that has been uninterrupted to the current day. Since then, around 40 professors, courses and coordinated meetings, thousands of students in the Master of International Management, many articles and books published, and several research projects have been the output of the Faculty group “Business and the Environment"

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“CEMS Model UNFCCC course has been a unique collaboration within the CEMS community, and is an excellent example of shared views and a thoroughly developed approach to provide understanding of climate change and climate policy to CEMS students.  Practising multilateral negotiation results in a deep understanding of the difficulty and the features of international negotiation. This gives students the opportunity to develop their negotiation skills in a practical setting.”

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“Climate change is one of the key challenges for businesses and society in the 21st century. Established in 2009, the CEMS Model UNFCCC has given hundreds of business students an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of climate risk, and to practise their skills in crafting successful climate strategies."

2018 CEMS Model UNFCCC Role Play Event

2019 CEMS Alumni Sustainability Seminar

2015 Model UNFCCC Role Play Event St. Gallen

15 years of Model UNFCCC


CEMS Global Citizenship Video

E.ON Inhouse Consulting (ECON), one of CEMS Corporate Partners, will be sponsoring the 15th Model UNFCCC and many CEMSies from ECON, will be attending the role play. We spoke to My Nguyen, who along with Petar Buhlev, Rabea Westerdick and Jan Schöne will travel to Cologne for the May role play event. There will be live posting from the event so follow our social media accounts to watch the role play live!

"The ECON team is excited to be a part of this year’s Model UNFCCC Roleplay and share insights how we at ECON contribute to shape the future energy world of tomorrow.
We are driven to fight climate change and we are looking forward to meeting many brilliant minds who share the same vision for the future."

“The UNFCCC course and role-play have been for many years the flagship course of the CEMS MIM programme for remarkable reasons. It offers students the unforgettable experience of simulating UN negotiations and it is a fine example of the cross-school initiative of our CEMS Academic Partners, addressing what I believe is the most crucial and central topic for humanity - climate change. It is fantastic to see that the course has been so successful throughout the last 15 years! I extend my congratulations to the students, faculty, and member schools involved in championing our CEMS values via their participation in this purposeful discourse!”

Nicole de Fontaines, CEMS Executive Director


Focusing on the 17 SDGs, The Global Citizen Seminar (GCS) enables students to cultivate a deep understanding of what it means to be a value-added future leader and shows them how to be a part of the solution. The seminar illustrates how to create innovative business models through sustainable innovation and social entrepreneurship. This is a collaborative effort, in accordance with CEMS Values, focusing on developing an understanding of our world and how we can be effective participants and a force for change.

Discover how the 22/23 Global Citizenship Seminar has been going in various schools

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Luis Henrique Pereira, Coordenador MPGI/EAESP, 8-10th Feburary 2023 Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil

In Brazil, at the EAESP’s Global Citizenship Seminar, students had the opportunity to investigate how Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) can be integrated into the company's business strategy.  The seminar included a debate on inclusive economy and corporate sustainability. The students experienced a field trip to CEFOPEA, a Brazilian NGO known for its work with the circular economy to empower homeless people. The students learned about affordable solutions to urban agriculture, energy production, and nonconventional food options. The final project aimed at proposing a strategy to integrate SDGs in a company of the student’s choice.

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In India, CEMS students participating in the CEMS Global Citizenship Seminar, 2022-23 visited “Parivaar”, a humanitarian organisation established by alum, Mr. Vinayak Lohani.

This is an organisation which works to provide care and development of underprivileged children, destitute and homeless.


Both the Model UNFCCC and the Global Leadership Seminar show students and the alliance the importance of taking action at all levels. In developing a creative problem solving approach, we all work together to create sustainable business practices and innovative solutions to climate change and more. As responsible future leaders the practice of learning and honing skills allows new ideas and ways of working for goals such as the SDGs to be reached. What measures can we work on next and how can we as an alliance take action? When World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) became a social partner in 2020, Marco Lambertini, former CEMS Strategic Board Member and outgoing Director General of WWF International, reflected upon how the CEMS future leaders should leverage on their education to make a real difference.

“We are faced with the need for a deep transformation in our relationship with the planet. We know what the problems are, and we know what it takes to fix them. This is a huge challenge as well as an unmissable opportunity – and one which CEMS new graduates and alumni can help address. As you embark on your careers as the future stewards of our planet, I encourage you to embrace this opportunity whenever you can and make it a reality.”

For over 60 years the WWF has led the way, conserving in over 100 countries developing and delivering innovative solutions to protect communities, wildlife and places in which they live.The work of WWF focuses on x6 goals including climate, food, forests, freshwater, oceans and wildlife. Earth Day was 22nd April - donate below for a better future.