I presented a brief review of my involvement in the CNAS wargame at Balaton today. My last fewÂ slidesÂ focus on some observations from the game.Â They led to a very interesting conversation about targets for future models and games. We have been planning to continue seeking ways to insert models into negotiations, with the goal of connecting individual parties’ positions to aggregate global outcomes. However, in the conversation we identified a much more ambitious goal: reframing the whole negotiation process.
The fundamental problem, in the war game and the real world, is that nations are stuck in a lose-lose paradigm: who will bear the burden of costly mitigation? No one is willing to forego growth, as long as “growth is good” is an unqualified mantra. What negotiations need is a combination of realization that growth founded on externalizing costs of pollution and depletion isn’t really good, and that fixing the institutional and behavioral factors that would unleash large low- or negative-cost emissions reductionsÂ and cobenefits wouldÂ be a win-win. That, combined with a serious and equitable accounting of climate impacts within the scope of present activities and coupling of adaptation and development opportunities to mitigation could tilt the landscape in favor of a meaningful agreement.