The C-ROADS Climate Change Policy Simulator

C-ROADS is a free, award-winning computer simulator that helps people understand the long-term climate impacts of national and regional greenhouse gas emissions reductions at the global level.

Explore C-ROADS ❯

What is C-ROADS?

C-ROADS is an online policy simulator that allows users to test and visualize the long-term impacts of climate strategies across distinct regional groups. The C-ROADS Simulator has helped the world to understand the impact of the emission reduction pledges countries have proposed to the United Nations. These proposals take different forms with different reduction rates and target years, however, using C-ROADS we can rapidly test policies to determine whether collectively they are enough to stabilize temperature below 2°C. C-ROADS is made available for free to make insights about what it takes to address climate change more accessible.

Climate Interactive, MITVentana Systems, and UML Climate Change Initiative collaborated to develop the C-ROADS Simulator. The name C-ROADS stands for “Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support” simulator. The model was reviewed by an external scientific review committee, chaired by Sir Robert Watson, former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The reviewers recommended C-ROADS for widespread use, which can be explored in a summary of their review.


Watch a short demonstration of its operation and features below.

How is C-ROADS used?

Tens of thousands of people around the world have engaged with the C-ROADS Simulator since its debut. Audiences have included Nobel Prize winning scientists, a former U.S. Secretary of State, U.N. climate negotiators, university presidents, European Union policymakers, oil executives, and countless students of all ages.

The C-ROADS simulator offers global, 3-region, and 6-region modes in order to test national and regional emission reduction policies. C-ROADS is available for download to Windows and Mac and can also be run online, and is offered in a variety of languages, including French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish language. C-ROADS is designed to be used for simple climate policy tests, interactive presentations, and in the popular role-play exercise, the World Climate Simulation.

C Roads2 1

The World Climate Simulation is a role-playing game set up to mimic the UN climate change negotiations which complements use of the C-ROADS simulator. The game allows participants to gain key insights from the simulator, adopt new perspectives, and explore international equity in a fun and engaging format. This game can be run either in-person or online. All materials are free and offered in a number of languages.


Frequently Asked Questions about C-ROADS

Explore frequently asked questions about the C-ROADS Simulator—exploring how C-ROADS is used, maintained, and the data and assumptions behind the model.

World Climate Training Plan

Becoming an effective facilitator of the World Climate Simulation takes some training. Follow this plan to learn about the game, the C-ROADS simulator, and facilitation techniques.

Explore our Peer-reviewed Paper

This paper from System Dynamics Review, co-authored by scientists at Climate Interactive and MIT, gives an overview of the structure and utility of the C-ROADS simulator.

C-ROADS Testimonials

  • “More chilling is the computer modeling [the C-ROADS team] did against the current plans of every single country that is planning to do anything, and it’s not that big a group…. They took all of these current projections and ran the computer models against what is currently happening in the science.  And in every single case, it showed that we are not just marginally above a catastrophic tipping point level. We are hugely, significantly above it.”

    John Kerry U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
  • “The results [of C-ROADS] have been very helpful to our team here at the U.S. State Department….The simulator’s quick and accurate calculation of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures has been a great asset to us. …I have made use of the results in both internal discussions, and in the international negotiations….”

    Jonathan Pershing former Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State
  • “The C-ROADS model from Climate Interactive was used by me and other members of President Obama’s climate-change team for gaining rapid insights into the consequences of alternative greenhouse-gas-emissions trajectories for the United States and the rest of the world.”

    Dr. John Holdren White House Science Advisor, 2008-2016