So, You Want to be a UN Climate Negotiator? Then Try Your Hand at This Simulator

Here’s 3 popular scenarios I put to the test.

J.R. Flaherty
5 min readFeb 17, 2022


photoshopped image of red trees on yellow grass and trees
Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

“How much Florida do you want to save?”

That’s how it feels playing this climate simulator developed for schools. All I need now is a cat, a cigar and a metal claw as I turn the dials up and down to change the fate of the world —

  • A little more population here
  • A lot more subsidies on renewables
  • Some medium growth on technologies.

All sung along to Mambo №5 by Lou Bega and there you have it: The simulator shows you the temperature your choices have made for life in 2100.

Created by the nonprofit think tank Climate Interactive and designed for groups in classrooms. It calculates the emissions reduction potential of your favorite “save the planet” policies.

So, could my climate change ideas save the world?

What it takes to be a climate negotiator

We all have the best intentions and the most important of opinions, but what is it like to be a UN climate negotiator?

No matter what side of the political spectrum you sat, no one was happy with the outcome at the COP26 in Glasgow.

Least of all, Alok Sharma, the President of COP26, who ended the conference holding back tears.

I saw Sharma at the end of the conference understand the fail in real time. One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen live on television.

Right there, he understood the enormity of what happened. We could not come together, not even to save the planet.

Not without compromise.

Regardless of what you think about COP26, or Alok Sharma or even climate change, it is a tough gig.

The main aim of COP26 was to

“secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.”

It was time to put some popular ideas out there to the test.

Start with the status quo: 3.6 degrees by 2100