Can the global community devise a solution to save the planet from the worst impacts of global climate change? Can disparate economic sectors comprised of multiple competing stakeholders come together to create an actionable, politically feasible plan? How about doing it in seven hours?
On Saturday, Feb. 27, students were challenged with exactly this in the NASPAA 2016 Student Simulation Competition. Over 50 master’s students from 20-plus universities across the Northeast convened on Columbia’s campus to participate in the day-long climate change simulation competition hosted by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Over the course of the event, teams of 15-20 students were challenged to create a comprehensive multi-sector policy plan to ensure that global temperature does not increase by more than 2°C by 2100—a globally recognized temperature limit to avoid the worst effects of climate change.