Strategy: How to Win

What is winning?

This is not a zero-sum game. Everyone can win. Everyone can lose. Some can win and some lose. It's like life, not like chess.

Think of your score as prize money. Just try to make as much money at the end of the game as possible. Doing this makes the game a realistic simulation of international policy negotiations in which negotiators must work for their own country. If they help the world, and make their country poorer, they are in trouble. If they beat all the other countries and make their country poorer, they are in trouble. They just want their own country to do well.

Here are two policy effects that can help you
  1. Your carbon price can fix the climate a bit and reduce your country's climate damage.
  2. Your carbon price can encourage others to adopt a climate policy that helps you.
You can figure out #1 from the information in the game. But #2 depends on what you negotiate with other players.

How to figure out policy effect #1

The Climate Game spreadsheet does not just keep score. It is a powerful climate-policy simulation tool that you can use to evaluate your policy choices. It can help you find which policy will maximize your final score.
  1. Pick this year, and set your carbon price to zero.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and check your final score. Write that down in spreadsheet's right column.
  3. Change this year's carbon price to $1, and re-check your final score.
  4. Did it go up or down?
  5. Up is better.
  6. Change this years carbon price (CP) to $10. Did your final score go up or down compared to CP=$0.
  7. Figure our what CP maximizes your final score by guessing values and homing in on the maximum.
How to use policy effect #1
  1. If you can't get anyone to increase their CP because you increase yours, then the best you can do is play the score-maximizing CP that you just found in step 7 above.
  2. If you can get others to increase their CP enough when you raise yours, then the climate benefits of their increases can overcome the loss you suffer when you set your CP above your effect-1 score-maximizing value.