What happens when a country wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by half in a relatively short time? What can be done to convince even those who see themselves as losers in the energy transition? How can we prevent former coal mining and steel industry regions from being economically and socially marginalised - e.g. if coal can no longer be mined and used to generate electricity? How can the transport sector emit less CO² and what does that mean for jobs in the automotive industry?
Our simulation game "Just Transition" addresses these key questions around structural change in the context of climate-friendly policies. The game was used for the first time in the framework programme of the 2018 international climate conference in Katowice, Poland. This was a good fit in that Katowice is a region particularly affected by this structural change and the Polish presidency had taken up precisely this topic. But in Germany, too, the debate on how such a process can be justly structured is very topical - in the middle of an ongoing debate about the planned coal phase-out.
The aim of the game is to illustrate both the challenges and the opportunities such a transformation process imparts on the economy and society. The game covers a period of 15 years and makes the effects of the actors' political decisions visible. There are continuous updates on how important indicators (unemployment rate, CO² emissions, etc.) are changing in individual areas. The participants must then react to the changed framework conditions, vote against or re-elect the government, advocate for one or the other political measure and - as always with simulation games - try to push the interests of their respective group as much as possible.
The game became an absolute hit after its first facilitation at the climate conference in Katowice, not least because we developed many more versions adapting the first one, which was aimed at young professionals. The game is now available in German and English, in short and long versions, and online and offline.