Treaties Change the Game

Game-Theory Lessons for Climate Policy

  1. First achieve cooperation then strengthen commitments.    (Al Gore explains.)
  2. Include penalties for non-compliance.    (D&S pp. 85, 96)
  3. Detect cheating quickly and accurate    (D&S p. 84)
  4. All countries should have a common interest in the key design parameters.    (p. 97)

Game theory and international agreements

A news feature in the November issue of Nature Reports Climate Change explains the failure of climate negotiatoins.

  • Lack of enforcement reduces the cooperativeness of the most cooperative players.
    • (Why cooperate if others can cheat on you?)
  • The focus on targets and timetables is risky.
  • Rewards for agreement by developing countries are needed, but lacking.
  • Agreement needs to be reached first among a small number of countries.