Accompanied by the weekly protests from the Fridays for Future movement, the German government debated various climate policy instruments and measures within the scope of its so-called “Climate Cabinet” in 2019. The final result was the climate package, a compromise that evoked both praise as well as strong criticism in the public discussion. Students at the University of Mannheim got to know which precise balance of interests, conflicting goals, strategies, and political effects should be taken into account when developing an effective climate policy on a national scale during the “Climate Cabinet” simulation game at ZEW Mannheim on 10 October 2020.
In the simulation game “Climate Cabinet” students developed a national climate package. The students themselves took on the roles of ministers during the simulation game. Within the context of a simulated political process, the students negotiated on plans and instruments concerning an efficient reduction in German greenhouse gas emissions and dealt with the various possibilities and difficulties of a national climate policy.
Frank Dietz, chairman of the student initiative “Model United Nations” at the University of Mannheim, made the following closing remarks on the event: “In the ‘Climate Cabinet’ simulation game at the beginning of the semester, we were able to experience the dimensions that are important for climate policy decisions and simultaneously make the process of consensus-building so complex.”
Next round for the simulation game “Climate Cabinet”
Within the framework of the project “Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change”, topic 2, which is coordinated by ZEW Mannheim jointly with the KLIMA ARENA Sinsheim developed the simulation game through a conceptual and content-related collaboration which lasted over a year. The aim of the simulation game is to provide both climate policy and ecological and economic insights as well as an awareness for complex societal and political negotiation processes, which make fighting climate change so difficult. After two further test runs at schools in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, the simulation game will be included into the regular educational programme of the Klima Arena from 2021 onwards, where it will be bookable for any interested groups.