World Climate Change Negotiations simulation at Liberty Middle School

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Students in the eighth-grade science honors program at Liberty Middle School participated in the World Climate Change Negotiations simulation on Dec. 8. To date, this interactive, role-playing exercise of the United Nations climate change negotiations for groups has held 564 events in 67 countries with 28,658 participants.

The simulation uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock-negotiations during the event. Most simulations run for two to three hours.

Eighth-grade students Brianna Dannemiller and Wilnica Destine participated in and wrote an article for the school paper, the Liberty Ledger. A version of their story appears in part below:

“Students were assigned roles in the different regions: the United States, European Union, other developing countries, other developed nations, China, India, the press corp and climate activists — or ‘tree huggers’ as teacher Christopher Todd puts it. These students had to study their roles and become the representative for that country.

“The climate negotiations also had presenters who helped, including Todd as the United Nations secretary-general; teacher Vincent DeJesus as the U.N.’s chief climatologist; teacher Susan Zaccaro as the executive secretary of the U.N. Convention of Climate Change; and Pankaj Lal, an associate professor of environmental economics and policy and the associate director of the PSEG Institute of Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University.

“The honors science classes discussed how climate change was affecting their region, based on how they live. Then they discussed ways to lower the numbers and reduce climate change to benefit us in the future. There were three segments so that the regions can modify what they had or leave it the same to reach their goal. They could make deals to help their region — USA got a lot of hate on that and other things too. They entered their negotiation deals into an interactive C-ROADS computer simulation, which allowed students to find out how their climate negotiations impacted the global climate system in real-time.

“Todd congratulated the nations for coming together to reach an agreement on how to change climate change. ‘What planet will you leave for the future?’ he asked.”

Photos Courtesy of WOSD