Simulation of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
This activity has been extensively reviewed for inclusion in the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network's collection of educational resources. For information the process and the collection, see http://cleanet.org/clean/about/selected_by_CLEAN.
This page first made public: Sep 29, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
To determine how much reduction in greenhouse gases is feasible.
To determine which policy actions will result in a large (and small) reductions in greenhouse gases.
To determine the complexity and difficulty of climate change negotiations.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Critical thinking skills; synthesis of different ideas to lower greenhouse gas emissions
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
To prepare for the simulation, I give a short lecture and assign background readings presenting an overview of international climate change negotiations. During this class, students then choose one country to represent making sure that countries from key groups are represented, e.g. G77 + China, EU, island nations, oil producing countries, and JUSCANZ (Japan, US, Canada, Aus., NZ). Before the next class, each student writes a background paper about their country and their future energy demands as well as a draft resolution on how to mitigate climate change reflecting their countries interests. Once students have determined their own positions, they introduce themselves to the other representatives in class and state their position. I circulate their background papers and position papers.
The next class is devoted to informal meetings and discussion between countries (aka caucusing). This can occur in the classroom, or at a local coffee house, which adds to the novelty and enjoyment. Based on conversations, negotiations, and reading position papers, students revise and refine their draft resolution to produce a formal position paper. They present this during the last class which is a final negotiating session
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 52kB Sep29 06)
- Instructors Notes (Microsoft Word 45kB Sep29 06)
- useful books (as of 2003) (Microsoft Word 21kB Sep29 06)
- Ppt presentation given at workshop on "Teaching Climate Change" (Acrobat (PDF) 351kB Sep29 06)
National Model UN: http://www.nmun.org
The Haugue International Model UN: http://www.thimun.org
Model UN Headquarters: http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/
Official site for the UN: http://www.unausa.org
Framework Convention on Climate Change: http://unfccc.int
Lots of information—take care and don't get bogged down in irrelevant bureaucracy.
Climate Change resources in the United Nations: http://www.un.org/partners/civil_society/m-climat.htm
Key UN documents on Climate Change
Documents for the previous COP 9 meeting in Milan, Italy:
replace the number "9" with 10, 11, 12 for following meetings
UN carbon market program: http://r0.unctad.org/ghg
Climate Change Knowledge Network: http://www.cckn.net