Interactive World Climate Simulation at the Hutchinson Center- April 27
Belfast, Maine — Ever wondered what it might be like to sit at a table with nearly 200 representatives of countries from all over the world, negotiating climate policy?
University of Maine graduate students Anna McGinn and Will Kochtitzky, who attended the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany last November, will facilitate a two-hour, interactive simulation of World Climate Negotiations beginning at 5 p.m., April 27, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. They will be aided by professor Molly Schauffler of the UMaine School of Earth and Climate Sciences.
During the two-hour guided, interactive simulation, which is free and open to the public, participants will experience how climate negotiations work. That includes how negotiators interact and what decisions they need to make in order to agree on commitments that will reduce global carbon emissions sufficiently to meet the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to “well-below 2°C.”
The lively, engaging session is designed to deepen participants’ insight into the climate negotiation process, and the nature of the challenges that a rapidly changing climate pose to the world’s citizens and governments. Participants are assigned a country (or regional country block) to represent and are given background information. The simulation proceeds through three “formal” negotiation sessions, with time to regroup and negotiate informally with other countries between the formal negotiation sessions.
The collective task is to agree on commitments and time frame to reduce greenhouse gases, increase forestation and contribute to a global Green Climate Fund to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Commitments pledged by participants are fed into a climate policy simulation model, C-ROADS, which predicts the impact of the commitments on global temperature. The World Climate Simulation activity and the C-ROADS model were developed by the organization Climate Interactive in partnership with the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Climate Change Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (https://www.climateinteractive.org/).
The simulation activity and model have been used to bring international climate negotiations to life with a public audience and school groups in over 850 events in 74 countries around the world since 2015.
Participants do not need any particular background knowledge; information needed will be provided at the outset of the activity. They also will have quick access to data about countries as questions arise during the simulation.
Facilitators McGinn and Kochtitzky are graduate students in the UMaine Climate Change Institute. McGinn is studying climate policy, and how people are adapting to the impacts of climate change at the international level and at a local level using a case study in Nicaragua. Kochtitzky is studying why glaciers in Alaska become unstable, how they are responding to climate change, and why they contribute more to sea level rise than any other group of mountain glaciers on Earth.
Schauffler coordinates science programming at the Hutchinson Center and works with middle and high school teachers to improve data literacy and climate education.
The event is a collaboration between the University of Maine Hutchinson Center, the School for Policy and International Affairs, and the Climate Change Institute.
The Hutchinson Center, an outreach center of the University of Maine, is committed to offering high-quality professional development programs to the greater midcoast Maine community.
The Climate Change Institute is an interdisciplinary research unit at the University of Maine that includes climate research related to oceans, glaciers, archaeology, anthropology, ecosystems, geochemistry, renewable energy, climate prediction and modeling, and climate change impacts, policy, and sustainability.
The School for Policy and International Affairs is a master’s program at the University of Maine with focuses on commerce and trade, international environmental governance, and security.
For more information, contact Diana McSorley, 338.8093, email@example.com