Community News

Now open: Build a global climate action plan


Today, we are excited to announce the launch of the Global Plan contest, where you can work with others to create strategies for what countries and the world as a whole could do about climate change.

Submit before October 17, 2015, 11:59:59 PM to have your plan reviewed by community members and our expert judging panel.

This contest is part of a pilot test of a new initiative in the Climate CoLab to develop integrated proposals for addressing climate change at the regional and global levels.  Read the press release.

How will this work?

The structure of the Climate CoLab contests mirrors the way the world, and each individual country, is confronting climate change today: by breaking down the larger goal of cutting emissions and adapting to a changing climate into actionable plans, action-by-action and region-by-region, then combining the plans to form a global climate agenda.

The Climate CoLab is holding six contests focused on different countries or groups of countries (what we’re collectively calling “regions”): ChinaIndiaUnited StatesEuropeOther Developing CountriesOther Developed Countries.  In addition, there is a new Global Plan contest for the world as a whole.

(1) Combine Proposals.  Tools on the platform allow you to add multiple proposals from other contests to create an integrated regional plan.  Guide on creating a regional plan. Similarly, you choose multiple regional proposals to create an integrated global strategy.  (See image right.)

(2) Explain your selections. You will be asked to justify how the plans you selected fit together, and to describe the key benefits, costs, and challenges of the plan.

(3) Estimate the impact.  You can work with a specialized team of emission modelers, called Climate CoLab Impact Assessment Fellows, to develop an overall estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the combination of actions you propose.

What proposals can I include in my plan?  

Any on the Climate CoLab… You can include any proposal on the Climate CoLab platform, regardless of whether or not it won a contest, or was submitted in an active contest or a contest from a previous year.

Or off the Climate CoLab… You can also include proposals outside of the Climate CoLab – policies already enacted or currently under consideration; action plans proposed by cities and governments; strategies being advocated for by non-government organizations and think tanks; technologies employed or in development – by adding them as Climate CoLab proposals in the Proposal Workspace.

Or create your own… If you don’t see any proposals you would like to include in your plan, create your own in the Proposal Workspace, or work with a proposal author to add what you think is needed.

You don’t have to do it alone

Developing a strong regional or global proposal is a fair amount of work, and you may want to do it with a team of other people.

  • Find other potential teammates on the Regional & Global Plans discussion board.
  • Use the contest outline view to find proposals that can fit in your plan.
  • Join an existing team or add someone to your proposal’s team.  Visit the “Contributors” tab of a proposal and click the “Request membership” or “Add contributor”. Contributors have privileges to edit the proposal description.
  • Comment on other proposals to help the authors improve their work.

Why do this?

The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the ideas and expertise of thousands of people around the world to collectively develop plans for how to address global climate change. A key principle behind the Climate CoLab is breaking down the large, complex problem of climate change into a series of more focused sub-problems, such as energy supply, transportation, shifting attitudes and behaviors, adapting to climate impacts and many others. We seek ideas on how to address these sub-problems in contests; members submit, comment on, and vote for proposals, and winners are chosen.

But just breaking a problem into pieces isn’t enough. There also needs to be some way of putting the pieces back together to solve the overall problem.

We are launching these contests to pilot test a new approach, where community members can combine ideas from other contests or elsewhere to form proposals for regions and the whole world. In doing so, members will be able to piece all the different ideas together to estimate what their total combined effect could be.

Is there a prize?

Yes!  The top proposals and winners will be recognized and widely publicized by the Climate CoLab.

In addition, they will also receive Climate CoLab Points.  An integrated proposal (such as a regional or global plan) includes ideas from all the people who contributed to the sub-proposals, not just those who created the integrated proposal itself. To recognize all these contributions, a winning integrated proposal receives CoLab Points that are distributed among all these people. The top point-getters will receive shares of a cash prize of $10,000.  Read more.

Plans in these contests will be evaluated in large part on how well they bring together proposals from other contests to articulate a broad, coherent vision of what these countries, groups of countries and the world as a whole can do.

Questions?  Send us an email at