Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO) has been delivering C-ROADS simulations across universities and corporate institutions in Ghana for the past 3 years. Following the launch of the new En-ROADS simulator by Climate Interactive in 2019, we are pleased to have organized our first climate simulation in partnership with Sustainability Week Accra.
The first-ever sustainability week in Ghana was held at the University of Ghana, Legon from 2 March 2020 to 6 March 2020. The week-long event included programs ranging from clothing donations to tree planting exercises and presentations. As part of the presentations, there was an En-ROADS simulation workshop held on 5 March 2020 facilitated by Isaac Abugri from Green Africa Youth Organization with about 25 to 30 participants. The workshop started with Isaac explaining the dynamics involved in the En-ROADS simulator to participants followed by two rounds of interactive sessions amongst participants.
The participants were then given 5 minutes to think of actions they have taken in the past month to help in the fight against climate change and reducing global temperature. Their responses included, beach clean-up exercises, planting trees, walking to and from lectures instead of taking taxis, efficient use of electricity by switching off electrical appliances when not using them, etc. These solutions were tested in the simulator and this reduced global temperature from 4.1 degrees to 2.4 degrees.
At this point, participants were happy to know that their solutions, if applied worldwide, will have a positive effect in reducing global temperature since we are thinking globally but acting locally. This was evident in the expression on their faces to know that they were on the right path to help reduce global temperature.
In the next round where participants were asked to think of solutions, aside what they have done already, that will help reduce global temperature further to below 2 degrees, they came out with solutions which included, Carbon pricing, reduction in the use of coal and encouraging the use of more renewables. One suggestion that stirred up more conversation was when one participant suggested less economic growth as a way of reducing global temperature. This she explained that when there is less economic growth, there will be less demand for coal and oil as citizens will not have the capability to buy vehicles, mobile phones and other luxuries which use more oil and coal in the manufacture and use of components.
Other participants came out with counter-arguments and one could feel the desire and passion from the participants as they gave their individual opinions on the matter. For me as a facilitator, I also learned a lot from the participants and seeing that there are others who are also in the fight against climate change gave me hope for a better future.
After all was said and done, we tested the final solutions on the simulator and we were able to further reduce global temperature to 1.6 degrees. This is what some participants had to say after they suggested that this can be achieved with collaborative efforts rather than individual efforts:
“I feel very happy to know that my efforts, no matter how small is a positive approach to combating climate change.”
Another participant said: