Energy nation

Notes on The Government

Notes on The Government

 The Government


 Three points of view


Timing: One to two lessons, with homework between


  • Introduce students to the Kyoto Protocol
  • Demonstrate the different viewpoints of developed and developing countries on the threat of climate change
  • Help structure an argument and use evidence to support it


  • Short written piece of work, which you can assess
  • Self-assessment form


Individually or in small groups – The students can run through the activity in small groups or on their own if there are enough computers. Alternatively, you can use  4: Three points of view.

As a class – You can use this activity with an interactive whiteboard.

Begin by reading through the introduction from the website, or from the activity card. Check students' understanding of words and phrases such as ‘fossil fuels’ and ‘climate change’.

The activity then moves on to a newspaper spread. When clicked, the different parts are magnified.

  • Use the bar chart to illustrate the rise in population. Ask the group if they know the approx UK population. (60 million)
  • Where do they think most of the growth in world population is happening? (South and Central America and Asia – not Africa)
  • Use the picture of New Orleans to ask the group whether they think that the 2005 flooding proves that climate change is actually happening. Actually it does not because we would expect extreme weather events to happen occasionally, even if there were no climate change. But such events might happen more frequently as a result of climate change.
  • Kyoto introduced a system of limiting carbon emissions. This issue is dealt with in more detail elsewhere in the resource, but you could use the 'Cars' data to show how different vehicles have a different carbon dioxide emission rating.
  • Do your students know about hybrid cars like the Prius, which uses an electric motor at low speeds and switches to a petrol engine above 20mph?

Students will need to spend some time discovering the information on the page. When they have finished, the following activity can be set in class (time permitting) or as homework.

Three world leaders have offered their opinion on what the problems and solutions of global warming mean to them.

Students must read the information and answer the following questions (these are on the activity card).

  • Are these points of view backed up by facts?
  • Do you agree with these views? Choose one and explain why you agree or disagree.
  • Write a short summary of one of the three views. Make a list of the main points and then put them in order, with the most important point first.

Allow around 30 minutes for this, then bring the group together again and discuss the validity of the three points of view. If the activity has been set as homework, this can be done in the following lesson.

The question about evidence is a difficult one; even scientists will disagree about the 'facts' about climate change. But students should be encouraged to attempt to separate fact from opinion.

Then brainstorm possible solutions on the board with the group. Emphasise that this is a real problem that world leaders are still trying to solve.

Go to The Government

Download Activity card 4: The Government: Three points of view