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Testing the Prospects for a Climate Agreement in Cancun

, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010

The room came to order. The negotiators, some still exasperated by the day's events, sat anxiously awaiting the final results. "Congratulations, delegates," the moderator announced. "You have negotiated a comprehensive successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol." The delegates erupted in deafening applause, screams of joy and relieved laughter.

No, these were not real-life climate-change negotiators. In August, we designed and ran a daylong scenario to simulate the international climate-change negotiations that will launch in Cancun, Mexico, on Nov. 29. Our goals were to gain a sense of how events may play out in Cancun when the real international negotiators meet to revive a struggling global effort to address climate change and to illuminate important dynamics among the delegates. ...

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