Icon for: Juliette Rooney-Varga


UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative

Transforming mental models of climate change through simulations, games, and ...

NSF Awards: 1245581

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Graduate, Adult learners, Informal / multi-age

The World Energy exercise enables people to try out and explore the policies and investment scenarios that allow them to reach their goals on climate change. With a focus on the mix of solutions that will lead to a more stable climate, this simulation can inspire hope that is grounded in our best understanding of the dynamics of the energy and climate system.

What policies would you choose to enable a future that:

  • stabilizes global warming well below 2 degrees C temperature rise, or even 1.5 degrees C?
  • supports economic health?
  • provides for equity?
  • minimizes environmental damages?
  • is viable if human civilization is at its best?


For World Energy, participants are divided into teams that represent different sectors and negotiate with each other to come up with a global energy scenario that could lead to a safe and equitable clean energy future. Each team controls a handful of levers that are related to their sector and can be adjusted in the computer simulation En-ROADS. For example, the group focusing on energy supply has control over the levers that drive investment in renewable, gas, nuclear, and coal energy. Groups then present their plans and it is compiled and analyzed in real-time with En-ROADS.

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