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World Climate: an interactive simulation of climate negotiations
Convener: Laurent Richard  | Co-Convener: Robin Matthews 
Thu, 12 Apr, 10:30–12:00

World Climate is a simulation-based role-playing exercise in which participants take on the roles of delegates to the UN climate negotiations and are challenged to create a global deal that, according to current scientific understanding, meets international climate goals. Participants make decisions on emissions, afforestation, and deforestation, which are continually assessed through interactive exploration climate change science via the C-ROADS computer simulation. The exercise delivers key insights about emissions, atmospheric CO2, the global C cycle, the scale of action needed to meet stated international climate goals, and the complexity of achieving those goals among diverse geopolitical interests. Participants propose any policies they choose, including no action, and explore alternative assumptions about the response of the climate to GHG emissions. The role-play facilitates discussion of participants' understanding and mental models, without attempting to dictate them. The simulation shows participants likely consequences of their choices, but does not prescribe solutions.
This activity is extremely versatile and has been used with participants ranging from middle school students to graduate students, scientists, CEOs, and citizens. It combines climate change science with policy and decision-making and is appropriate for courses in diverse disciplines, such as the geosciences, other natural sciences, political science, sociology, management, leadership development, ethics, and more. Participants take on active roles during World Climate, bringing whatever prior knowledge they may have to the activity, with strong potential for participants to enrich each others' experience.