As our Climate Policy Exercise makes its way around the world, we have another guest blogger, long time colleague and partner Alan AtKisson, who details the latest event at the Tällberg Forum on his excellent blog here. We condensed the 2-hour exercise into a 25 minute “interactive presentation” led by members of the Climate Action Initiative team — Jacqueline McGlade, Felicitas von Peter, Drew Jones, and Christine Loh (from left to right in the photo), along with an unscripted visit from Forum founder and host Bo Ekman.
by Alan AtKisson
Morning again. Somehow folks crawled out of bed after dancing and drinking past midnight, and made their way to the big tent by 8:30 (it is full when I get there) to experience the climate change negotiations game run by Drew Jones and other colleagues.
First, Drew Jones — his voice almost wavers with emotion — reports the passage of the first-ever climate change legislation in the US, to the applause of this crowd. Then (I have skipped several steps here, including Anders Wijkman’s briefing on the not-so-inspiring status of the negotiations for the Copenhagen climate summit) we are divided up into groups. Our task will be the world’s task at Copenhagen: “to avoid the unmanageable, and to manage the unavoidable.”
At Drew’s request, half of us are standing: we’re China, India, Brazil, and other fast-growing countries. Christine Loh of Civic Exchange is the leader. Another twenty percent, led by Jaqueline McGlade of the European Environment Agency, are the developed world (that’s where I am, and we’re allowed to keep sitting, hence this text). Tom Cummings’ people — the poor states, the island states — are told to sit on the floor. They get blue blankets, which they lift over their heads at one point to signify the rising seas. One of them cries, “Viva la revolucion!” “We didn’t hear that, did we?” says Jackie McGlade, speaking for the wealthy OECD nations.
Drew then leads us, with astonishing rapidity, through a round of “negotiations” that are immediately reflected to us by the climate learning model “C-Roads” on the big screen. You can try this yourself at staging.climateinteractive.org.
Basically, as the model makes clear, what we’re doing now, and currently planning to do, as a world, on climate change, is woefully inadequate. (I guess we knew that.)
But then, if we cooperate as a world (all of us from the sitting/standing/half-drowned world) do pretty much everything possible — including reforestation, methane control and removal, taking better care of our soil, etc. etc. etc. — then Drew’s little orange line moves down, slowly, slowly, finally approaching 350 ppm — instead of the 900 ppm that would result from business-as-usual.