Hosting Climate Simulations In Your Community

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Review the background, details, and how to host an event with Climate Interactive's new climate policy simulator, En-ROADS, built with MIT Sloan. This tool helps groups explore the power of a steadily rising price on carbon through policies like the Energy Innovation Act as well as other strategies to address climate change to highlight complementary climate goals including the impact of changes in energy, land use, consumption, agriculture, and other policies. 

TOC and Guide Section
Climate Interactive Background

Climate Interactive is a think tank that provides modeling for climate policies and tools that show what’s needed to contain global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The organization believes that the best way to engage policymakers in supporting effective climate policy is not to give them the answers, but to give them the tools to find the answers themselves. 

Drew Jones, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive, shared that the motivation for their newest interactive tool was the realization best summed up by one of the team members, Professor John Sterman: 

‘Research shows that showing people research doesn’t work.’”

In the face of this realization, Drew and the Climate Interactive team found inspiration in the words of American architect Buckminster Fuller who said:

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” 

How To Use The En-ROADS Simulator Tool

With this in mind, Climate Interactive designs interactive tools that people can play and work with to explore climate solutions for themselves. Over the course of eight years, through the work of countless climate scientists, IPCC authors, and many other experts, and with the most up-to-date data, Climate Interactive has developed the En-ROADS tool which is set to be released some time in the next few weeks.  En-ROADS is an interactive climate model that allows the user to apply different combinations of policies and observe their effects on global energy production and on our climate system.  You could imagine a future with more renewable energy, or less oil, or electrification of cars, or less deforestation.  

How to use the simulator

  • Works with any size group
  • Ideally one process facilitator, one running simulator
  • You are their guide and support (their thinking partner), not a presenter or lecturer
  • Lead the group through a set of questions, such as: 
  1. What are the actions to take on climate that are your preferred solutions?
  2. What would the impact be of a policy like the Energy Innovation Act?
  3. What else is required to deliver on climate goals?

For example, you can model the impact on agricultural or forestry practices on our global temperature projections - or what changes in different regulatory approaches, technologies, or transportation policies lead to in terms of greenhouse gas reductions. 

The model can also predict how the climate will react if the global economy implemented a $15/ton price on carbon that increases by $10 each year, such as the Energy Innovation Act that CCL supports in Congress. En-ROADS shows that this proposal would have a dramatic and fast response on net greenhouse gas emissions. If implemented globally by 2025, the policy could reduce net global warming by 1.4 degrees Celsius—more than any other proposed policy.  However, this alone does not get us below the 1.5 degrees Celsius IPCC goal.

En-ROADS not only highlights the power of carbon pricing and the need for complementary action, but this tool also enables the user to explore those complementary actions by building additional policies onto the carbon price to explore what it will take for us to meet our goals.  Citizens’ Climate Lobby advocates know that the Energy Innovation Act is a critical step toward addressing climate change, but we know that additional steps will be necessary to meet our climate goals. 

Top Insights Typically Delivered From Simulator
  1. There is no single silver bullet and some actions may have lower leverage than expected
  2. Many actions in many sectors are required to stay within our 1.5 degree budget we need a “silver buckshot” approach
  3. Collectively, we can do it - avoiding the worst case future is still possible
  4. There are abundant near-term co-benefits

En-ROADS can help move conversations with community leaders, friends, legislators forward on the most effective climate solutions. It lets them think on their own terms, with their peers. New experiences and engaging tools like En-ROADS let leaders and policymakers engage with climate policies more intimately and on their own terms. When it comes down to it, showing rather than telling is an important key to advancing effective climate policy.

En-ROADS Scenarios aligned with HR763

As a starting point, here is the simulation that CCL Research Coordinator Rick Knight has created that comes very close to the HR763 pricing schedule that ends in 2050, and here is the one that follows a similar price ramp but extends all the way to 2100.  And if we assume a significant impact on energy efficiency and electrification in both transport and buildings, here is the result of that.

En-ROADS Training Available Through Climate Interactive

En-ROADS Training Available

En-ROADS is officially released to the public. If you're interested in finding out more and signing up for a training about the simulation and workshop visit Climate Interactive's webinar training page or view any one of the seven part "Mastering En-ROADS" webinar series hosted in January 2020 to understand En-ROADS dynamics and gain confidence as workshop facilitator:

Experiment with the simulator, practice with friends, and watch or apprentice with someone who is leading workshops. This guide provides general descriptions, real-world examples, slider settings, and model structure notes on each of the 18 primary levers in En-ROADS. Moving a slider represents an action such as policy implementation, investment choices, or human behavior change.  One page summary PDF.

Looking for more support?

Check out Climate Interactive's 
online forum to...

  • Connect with other facilitators in your region or sector (explore this page here).
  • Share facilitation advice and model clarifications.
  • Ask questions about the model, event planning, facilitation techniques, and beyond.
  • Offer personal insights and experiences.
Bring the workshop or game to your workplace, classroom, local community, and beyond. These experiences deliver transformative insights on the impacts of cross-sector climate actions. Both events allow participants to explore the En-ROADS model in a way that is thought-provoking, interactive, and solutions-oriented. 

 There are many more resources available on our Climate Interactive's website, and feel free to email  any further questions you may have to

Becoming An En-ROADS Climate Ambassador

If you finish the Mastering En-ROADS webinar series and would like to apply to be an En-ROADS Climate Ambassador follow these steps:

1. Run Events & Collect Feedback

All aspiring En-ROADS Climate Ambassadors should run at least two events (either the workshop or game), and collect audience feedback. Run events with any audience you choose – be it your family, co-workers, students, political representatives, or beyond. When you run an event, be sure to register it on Climate Interactive's website. This helps keep track of who is running En-ROADS events around the world. 

2. Take the En-ROADS Practice Test

Test your knowledge of En-ROADS and what you learned during the webinars with the "En-ROADS Practice Test." This is a learning tool for you to check your understanding of key model dynamics and other principles covered in the Mastering En-ROADS series.

3. Submit Your Application

Review the En-ROADS Ambassador checklist to ensure that you have completed the ambassador training program. When you have completed all the steps, you are ready to submit your application for becoming an En-ROADS Climate Ambassador.  Once Climate Interactive has reviewed your application and confirmed your participation, they will be in touch via email with your En-ROADS Climate Ambassador certificate!

Press play to start the video (31m 13s)
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To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda (1:22)

Background & History of the En-ROADS Tool (3:11)

Expert Opinion & Model Assumptions (7:24)

Using the Simulator (9:30)

Demo-ing the Simulator (12:00)

Modeling the Energy Innovation Act's Inputs (24:20)

When En-ROADS Will Be Released & Training Plan (26:58) 

  • Drew Jones, Climate Interactive

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Press play to start the audio (31m 13s)
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Audio Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda (1:22)

Background & History of the En-ROADS Tool (3:11)

Expert Opinion & Model Assumptions (7:24)

Using the Simulator (9:30)

Demo-ing the Simulator (12:00)

Modeling the Energy Innovation Act's Inputs (24:20)

When En-ROADS Will Be Released & Training Plan (26:58) 

  • Drew Jones, Climate Interactive
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