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EN-Roads Climate Policy Simulator Webinar

By Mairin Shields-Brown (Facilitator)
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

On July 29th, the BCSEA conducted a webinar inviting interested sustainability professionals to participate in a game-like challenge utilizing the EN-Roads simulator. 

The EN-Roads Climate Policy Simulator is an up-and-coming technological and educational tool that is useful in teaching people how we can effectively approach the climate crisis. Essentially, the simulator incorporates all variables that contribute to the rise and fall of global temperatures within the sectors of energy, technology, and land use. 

Marija Velickovic and I as facilitators, along with BCSEA Board Director Arman Mottaghi as our host organized the attendees into groups. Each group represented different key stakeholders in the climate crisis, such as Conventional Energy, Land Use and Agriculture, Clean Tech, and Climate Justice. 

Adopting the perspectives of their designated stakeholder groups, the webinar consisted of breakout discussions and collective decision making on what sectors or industries must see either divestments or growth in order for us to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Ultimately, after playing around with the sliders in the simulator, our facilitated groups were able to come up with a plan to limit warming to 1.8 degrees!

The sustainability professionals that attended the seminar had positive feedback and greatly support the use of the EN-Roads Simulator as an effective tool that visually showcases which impacts certain industries or policy changes may or may not have on global warming. For example, many found it interesting that increases in carbon taxing and building efficiency would have exponential effects in limiting global warming! 

Some also positively reflected on how EN-Roads effectively displays the relationships between divestments or investments in certain industries, such as coal, oil, and gas. The simulator gives us the opportunity to essentially ‘play around’ with the parameters of temperature change and could be a productive exercise to lobby governments using scientific evidence to advocate for how to limit fossil fuel energy reliance most effectively. 

Finally, many participants provided feedback on how despite the climate crisis being framed so frequently through a doom and gloom lens, utilizing EN-Roads helped them visually and factually understand that if we strategically divest and invest in the right industries and implement the correct policy changes, there is hope. If stakeholder groups in power can understand what steps need to be taken, we can and will limit global warming to at most 2 degrees Celsius.

The positive and constructive feedback from our participants as well as our experience as facilitators has inspired us to promote EN-Roads as an educational tool for organizations that are interested in climate policy, scenario-focused team building discussions. We encourage participation in and/or hosting of more webinars from interested organizations to help this stakeholder game gain traction and one day potentially be employed in government-level decision making.