“Before you can judge someone you need to walk in their shoes for three moons.” This is what an Indian proverb says and we found it particularly true after having attended the workshop “World Climate Simulation: Simulation of Climate Negotiations” which was held during the first day at the International Conference of Youth about climate change, COY12, in Marrakech.Have you ever tried to imagine walking in an Indian Head of State’s shoes?
Have you ever faced the challenge of finding a compromise between developed and developing countries? Well, we actually did. During the workshop, we were divided in various groups with other participants from all around the world and each group had to represent a country (US, China and India) or a group of countries (EU, developed countries and developing countries). By doing this, we simulated the negotiations that will take place during COP22 with the aim of keeping the global temperature lower than +2° C.After each country proposed its ambitious commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by making 5 decisions*, we inserted the data into an innovative software program developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute Technology) to see how it would affect the world in 100 years’ time.
We were very surprised when we found out that our ambitious choices would not have limited the increase of the global temperature to 2+ C. During the second round of negotiations, we had to put even more effort into meeting the final objective, which required us to compromise even more.It was frustrating to discover that huge efforts coming from all the countries were not improving the global scenario ALL that much. What can really make a difference is to act ASAP. We do not want to end up repeating the same old slogans but from what we experienced, the only way not to exceed the +2° C limit is actually to take action right away.
*The 5 decisions we were asked to make regarded: the peak year of emissions, starting year of decreasing emissions, yearly rate of emission reduction, rate of deforestation, rate of afforestation (planting of young trees in new areas) and amount of funds to be contributed or requested.