Climate Change Negotiations Game
The World Climate Simulation is a role playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups. It is unique in that it uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock-negotiations during the event. All the materials and tools for World Climate are available for free and many are available in multiple languages.
The World Climate Project was launched in August 2015 at the White House, as an effort to engage tens of thousands of people worldwide around climate change. The World Climate Project provides resources that let you confidently lead people in this thought-provoking game, which simulates the United Nations climate talks.
You can use the World Climate Simulation to help people build awareness of this critical challenge and experience some of the dynamics that emerge in the UN climate negotiations. The exercise is framed by current climate change science, through the interactive C-ROADS computer simulation, enabling participants to find out how their decisions impact the global climate system in real-time.
How Does World Climate Work?
World Climate is a simplified international climate change negotiations meeting. A facilitator leads the group, playing the role of a UN leader, while each participant plays the role of a delegate representing a specific nation, negotiating bloc, or, in some cases, an interest group. Everyone then works together in their respective roles to reach a global agreement that successfully keeps climate change well below 2˚C over preindustrial levels globally.
Simulation events vary in length, but most run from 2-3 hours.
World Climate is:
- Suitable for people from middle school to graduate school students, community and religious groups, executive leaders, scientists, and everyone in between;
- Interactive and experiential;
- Scientifically-based with a computer simulation to provide rapid assessment of results;
- Free to use and adapt to suit your needs, with all materials available.
Ways to get started in planning a World Climate Simulation
Sign up for World Climate updates and stay posted on the latest announcements:
Join an introductory webinar to learn more and ask questions:
Review the online materials:
Run an event!
And let us know about it so you can inspire others and contribute to the community’s learning. Click below to put your event on the map!
World Climate Events 2015-2016 – click for full screen
343 events held in 51 countries with 15,051 participants as of May 19, 2016
As part of the World Climate Project, you’ll join a global network of facilitators bringing these events to new audiences around the world.
A study from Yale University found that 74% of Americans rarely, if ever, discuss climate change. These numbers are likely similar around the world and yet success on climate change requires countless actions from people of from all around the world and from all walks of life. Our approach to engender more conversation and action is to create an experience where people put themselves in the shoes of world leaders making decisions on climate change. In a 2-3 hour event they must face the climate science, engage in the drama and tensions of global politics, test their ambitions against a climate-modeling tool used by actual climate negotiators, and then reflect on how the experience challenges their assumptions about climate action. Participating in this experience has been transformative for many.
Participants in a World Climate simulation quickly learn the policy-relevant science of climate change, viscerally experience the geopolitical and social dynamics of climate negotiations, and personally engage in crafting a solution, while taking a realistic look at the scale of changes ahead as we shift to a low-carbon global economy.
We’re assessing the impact of these learning experiences – through preliminary results from our studies we have found that 76% of students who took the workshop reported they were more likely to take action to address climate change.
Like climate change itself, World Climate crosses disciplines, delivering insights into:
- Policies and actions needed to address climate change;
- The forces that influence national positions on a climate treaty;
- Dynamics of the climate system (including relevant feedbacks, tipping points, and time delays);
- What it will take to stay well below 2°C of global warming, or even 1.5°C;
- Psychological responses to complex problems;
- Systems thinking.
As this effort expands we are continuing to evaluate the learning outcomes and impact of this experience. Learn more about our research on the impacts of World Climate.
Who’s Using World Climate
Thousands around the world have participated in the World Climate Exercise since its debut. Audiences have included: Nobel-prize winning scientists, a former US Secretary of State, university presidents, European Union policymakers, oil executives, the U.S. Forest Service, MIT Executive MBA students, and countless classrooms from high schools to universities. The international youth think tank CliMates even runs the campaign COPinMyCity for young people around the world to lead World Climate in their communities and link efforts to advance international climate policy.
Dr. Peter Senge debriefing World Climate exercise
Feedback we’ve heard
“I know how important it is for us to take significant action, yet I wasn’t fully prepared for the visceral experience of seeing the real-time feedback from our proposed global climate policies. It highlighted the magnitude and nearness of the problem in a way I hadn’t experienced before. It was sobering but inspiring!”
-Keith Burrows, LEED-AP, Resynergy Systems
“I can vouch for how enlightening, challenging, and oddly fun — racing to come up with a climate deal before the clock runs out — this role playing game is. If I were climate czar, it would be required of all high school students before they graduated . . . and incoming freshmen in college should have to do the energy game.”
– Mark McCaffrey, Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education
“From an instructors perspective I found the support materials very helpful and brought to life a topic that I have taught previously to classes with high levels of interest but without such broad engagement – every student seemed switched on today.”
– Dr. John Broderick, Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester
“All the students were enthusiastic about this experience and want to do it again this year! I received a lot of positive feedback and, most importantly, several students wrote to tell me how they now want, through their studies, to fight against climate change. One student even switched his plans for college so as to pursue a degree in environmental studies.”
– Laurent Richard, mathematics teacher at the International School of Boston
“The World Climate Exercise made the consequences of climate change feel more real to me, further fueling my motivation to address climate change.”
– Courtney James, UMass Lowell undergraduate
If you have developed any additional materials or variations on World Climate we would be delighted to hear about it. Please contact us.
MIT Sloan Leading Edge
Climate Interactive designed World Climate in partnership with Professor John Sterman at MIT. Ongoing work on the exercise is in collaboration with Dr. Juliette Rooney-Varga, Director of University of Massachusetts Lowell Climate Change Initiative, with support from the National Science Foundation. Other partners include: