Imperial College Stduents act as climate negotiators of the future
As a welcome to the new energy students around college, a large number of students joined organisers from the Grantham Institute, the Centre for Environmental Policy, the Energy Futures Lab, and the UK Energy Research Centre for an afternoon of Energy Islands negotiations.
As we had around 70 students, during the game the students were divided into three parallel worlds (red, green and purple) and assigned roles for ‘islands’ that represented the EU, China and Africa. Using detailed information on their island’s resources, societal structure, energy systems and emissions levels, the students were tasked with negotiating an agreement between all three islands that would allow a global target of 30% emissions reduction by 2030 to be reached. Through resource and technology exchange, and the implementation of mitigation and adaptation strategies, each island bartered its assets to achieve this target. Energy Society members and PHD students from around college acted as ‘Energy Mentors’ to the students to inform their choices and provide technical expertise. To compliment this maze of interactions and discussions, several divisive and informative reporters were running around the proceedings – the results of which are immortalised in the twittersphere here.
Whilst the remit for each world was identical, the negotiations produced three sets of outcomes! The Red world focused on technology transfer while offering a very fair deal to the developing nations, encouraging both renewable energy and agricultural efficiency. In contrast, the Purple world appeared to move towards the ‘end of capitalism’ by creating very equitable sharing of responsibility for emissions, encouraging educational support and regenerating the housing stock in the developing world. Our Green world reached agreements on CCS, while focusing on reducing emissions from industry in the developed world and allowing growth in the developing nations. Eventually, after shortened deliberations due to the pressing need for a glass of wine, the World Council reached the decision that the Red world had produced the most thorough, feasible and equitable solution, and awarded the Red team members the honour of ‘winning’ the negotiations. Congratulations Red World!
Many thanks to all the students who were involved, EFL, ICEPT, the Grantham Institute, and of course the very creative Jeff Hardy at UKERC for coming up with the event. Thanks also to Erica Thompson, PHD stduent at the Grantham Institute, who brilliantly thought of creating a twitter account for our energy worlds and kept things very interesting with her proposals for climate intervention protestors!
For further information on getting involved with the Energy Society and being involved with future versions of this game – including the possibility of working with the Imperial College Reach Out Lab who run the game with under-18s, please contact S.Lester@Imperial.ac.uk
Please see Energy Society Facebook page for photos of the event