About En-ROADS

En-ROADS is a powerful simulation model for exploring how to address global energy and climate challenges through large-scale policy, technological, and societal shifts. With En-ROADS you can create scenarios that focus on how changes in taxes, subsidies, economic growth, energy efficiency, technological innovation, carbon pricing, fuel mix, and other factors will change global carbon emissions and temperature.

En-ROADS is designed to be used interactively with groups where it can be the basis for scientifically rigorous conversations around addressing climate change. This makes it ideal for decision-makers in government, business, and civil society; or for anyone who is curious about the choices of our world. Climate Interactive provides extensive materials to support people in leading activities with En-ROADS that range from policy workshops to roleplaying games.

Relative to many global energy and climate system models, En-ROADS returns results in a few seconds, is transparent in its mathematical logic, and allows you to interactively test hundreds of factors. En-ROADS complements the other, more disaggregated models addressing similar questions, for example, those in the EMF-22 suite. These larger disaggregated models are used for data and calibrating results in En-ROADS.

En-ROADS stands for “Energy-Rapid Overview and Decision-Support.” Led by the team at Climate Interactive, En-ROADS has benefited from a close collaboration between Climate Interactive, Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, Prof. John Sterman of MIT Sloan, and Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga of UMass Lowell’s Climate Change Initiative. En-ROADS is an extension of the award-winning simulator C-ROADS, which thousands have used to assess national and regional greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges and lead climate negotiation exercises. Both tools were developed using the system dynamics modeling approach and draw on the MIT PhD theses of Dr. John Sterman and Dr. Tom Fiddaman.

The model emphasizes the system-wide interactions of policies. Behind the simulation is an extensive study of the latest research literature on factors such as delay times, progress ratios, price sensitivities, historic growth of energy sources, and energy efficiency potential. This enables En-ROADS to reveal the dynamic interactions between different levers, such as how energy efficiency affects renewable energy, and which feedback loops are most significant.

For those familiar with C-ROADS, the distinction between the two is that C-ROADS focuses on how changes in national and regional emissions could affect global carbon emissions and climate outcomes, while En-ROADS focuses on how global changes in energy, economics, and public policy could affect global carbon emissions and climate outcomes.

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