Global Climate Change Policy (UNSC)


Case Assessment

  1. What are greenhouse gases, how are they produced, and what is their connection to climate change?
  2. What are some examples of the effects—environmental, economic, security related, and more—that scientists and analysts project will occur as a result of climate change, and why are they important?
  3. What limit did the 190 nations of the Paris Agreement set for global average temperature increases by 2100? What is the risk of temperatures rising beyond this limit? 
  4. How is climate change a threat to international security? Why is it important for the Security Council to discuss climate-related risks?
  5. Why have major greenhouse gas emitters in the developed and developing worlds traditionally disagreed over the responsibility of various countries to make emissions reductions, and what approaches might help overcome this disagreement?
  6. How do a cap-and-trade system and carbon taxes work, and what are some benefits and challenges surrounding the implementation of these policies?

UNSC Assessment

  1. What are the six organs of the United Nations system? What are their responsibilities?  
  2. How is the UN Security Council structured? How are Security Council decisions made? 
  3. What are the two categories of tools that the UN Security Council has at its disposal to implement its decisions, and what are the range of specific tools available in each? 
  4. What is the difference between a Chapter VI peacekeeping mission and a Chapter VII peace enforcement mission? 
  5. What are the main challenges and limitations that the UN Security Council faces as it carries out its work? What solutions have been proposed to address these challenges?

Writing Assignments

Each CFR Education simulation involves writing assignments that help students think through policy options and reflect on their learning experience.

In UNSC cases, there are two types of writing assignments.

  • Before the role-play, everyone writes draft clauses for a Security Council resolution.
  • As part of the wrap-up, everyone writes a written reflection.

Simulations have instructions for written assignments (found under the Student Facing Simulation), rubrics, and samples for each of these writing exercises. 



Below are sample rubrics for your use in assessing the writing students will do as part of this simulation.

These are single-point rubrics. Jennifer Gonzalez, who writes the blog Cult of Pedagogy, has a great explainer, but the bottom line is that single-point rubrics are relatively easy for students to digest but still have all the advantages of giving structure to instructors’ feedback.

UN Security Council Draft Clauses Rubric


What needs improvement


What is expected


What is excellent



  • There are two to three preambular and three to four operative clauses
  • Clauses are properly formatted and styled



Preambular clauses

  • Accurately identify relevant prior agreements and existing organizations



Operative clauses

  • Are practical and within the UN Security Council’s powers
  • Address who
  • Address what
  • Address when
  • Address where
  • Address why
  • Address how
  • Address funding



UN Security Council Written Reflection Rubric


What needs improvement


What is expected


What is excellent


Subject paragraph

  • Is brief
  • Places the issue in the larger context of U.S. foreign policy
  • Clearly states whether the writer agrees or disagrees with the president’s decision



Options and Analysis paragraph

  • Discusses each option that came up during the role-play in discrete paragraphs
  • Weighs the advantages and disadvantages of each option
  • If options from the position memo are discussed, those options contain additional analysis



Recommendation and Justification paragraph

  • Makes a clear recommendation based on the writer’s personal position
  • Supports the recommendation effectively



Reflection paragraph or paragraphs

  • Reflects on and critiques the Security Council’s decision
  • Is written from a personal point of view, not that of the assigned role


Downloadable rubrics are available here: