Winning the World Climate Game: Brainwork challenge

Let’s assume that the world climate negotiations in general– and all in the run-up to COP15 in December and its aftermath — need a shot in the arm, a game-changer, in order to begin to break a deadlock that has gone on all too long at huge cost to the planet and future generations. Do you accept this as something worth at least considering? If so . . .

After having observed closely this largely failed process for many years, here is one thing I have concluded about our dilemma:

The challenge (the planet) is clearly a lot bigger than the problem-solving apparatus we have put in place to deal with it. Does that seem about right to you?

So what about this as an analogy to stimulate our thinking? We are trying to play a game, say like tennis. We have a ball, net, court, lines, etc. Should be easy enough, eh?

However, in the climate case the ball (the planetary challenge) is clearly far bigger than the court (the existing problem solving frame) into which we need to hit it. Oops.

So what is the solution? Obviously to turn it into something that is not a travesty, and at least possible, we would have to redraw the court, somehow reshape and redimension the problem solving process.

(Of course if we want to shrink the ball, i.e., do less for the planet, we can do that too. In fact, that looks kind of familiar.)

How might we handle this challenge in the case of the climate process? What could be the game-changer(s) that would allow us to have a shot at winning.

This is to invite your suggestions as to ONE BASIC THING we could do to change the game, the rules, so that our planet has a decent chance.

Something deep and fundamental. Something that upsets the old order that has failed us for so long.

Please send your nominations and ideas to the, and also we invite you to post them directly to the Comment section which you will see just below.

Let’s see if we can solve this one by putting our heads together.


The editor

Resource: Planning for Sustainable Travel – Tools for better integration between land use & transport planning

The UK Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) announce “a powerful new tool for planning practitioners, local authority officers and Councillors for better integration between land use and transport planning”. Planning for Sustainable Travel is a web-based resource with a summary practice guide, identifying the 11 key land use levers that planners and transport planners can use to help achieve lower trip rates, shorter travel distances and greater use of sustainable travel modes.

“The guidance makes two key recommendations:

1. Much more attention should be given at an early stage to analysing locational options for major development – selecting places likely to generate low trip rates and the greatest potential to offer a competitive alternative to car use.

2. New developments should be planned to achieve levels of car distance travelled per head that are lower than the average for the transport authority area and that are good practice benchmarks

It is intended that the guidance acts as a resource bringing together current sometimes disparate advise under one website and guide.”

# # #

* For a short intro to the report –

* For project website –

* Full guidance is available at

* Planning for sustainable travel (summary guide)

* Planning for sustainable travel (leaflet)

* Planning for sustainable travel (background and technical analysis)

* For background on the CfIT –


Daniel Parker-Klein
Transport Planning Policy Officer
Commission for Integrated Transport
55 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0EU
t +44 020 7348 1970
f +44 020 7348 1989
m +44 07894 620655