So I just played a green utopia US game, and had pretty much every single environmental policy active - clean energy subsidies, reforestation, microgeneration grants, EVs, etc. I’ve had no CO2 emissions for many years now, zero oil demand, and a full electric vehicle transition. It is safe to say that my economy is pretty much fully decarbonized. However, despite all of this, the environment is still only at about 60%, with the only major drag on it being the GDP. However, this doesn’t really make sense considering my economy’s decarbonization.
Therefore, I feel like there should be a way to reduce GDP’s effect on the environment once you’ve decarbonized your economy. A clean, intuitive way of doing this is by scaling its effect based on the level of funding for green policies - the one that comes to mind first is the climate change adaptation fund. It makes sense, since “the environment” in-game, at least according to the description, refers to the health of the natural environment. Improved adaptation measures surely would benefit the environment in this case, and high levels of funding would offset many lingering negative effects on the natural environment from a healthy economy. Since the fund currently has no direct effect on the environment, it would be a nice way to reward the player a bit for pumping so much money into the policy, and would help rebalance the environment, since it is hard to get it all the way up even with a fully decarbonized economy.
Is that what environment is meant to represent, at least as far as impact from GDP goes? Like, the carbon emissions from GDP are captured by CO2 emissions, GDP-> environment seems to refer to other stuff (the environment description refers to all kinds of pollution, air, water, noise), which I wouldn’t think would be mitigated by a climate change adaption fund.
Yes, I agree that that’s exactly what “the environment” refers to in the game - the health of the natural environment in relation to the impact of pollution. But a good chuck of the pollution that exists today, whether air, water, or noise, is a direct or indirect result of fossil fuel usage. It just seems odd for the economy to have the same exact negative effect on the environment regardless of whether it is at 0% or 100% of CO2 emissions, if that makes sense. There will always be a negative environmental impact as a result of human economic activity, so I am not at all suggesting that the negative environmental impact should be removed entirely in a fully decarbonized economy. But the impact should definitely be reduced in some way once the sort of air and water pollution associated with fossil fuel usage goes away.
As for why I believe that the climate change adaption fund (CCAF) should have an effect on this: The sorts of projects that such a fund would consist of - everything from dikes to improved water management to sustainable forestry to erosion prevention - would have a massive impact on the health of the natural environment. By mitigating the effects of climate change for our own sake, we would be - whether intentionally or unintentionally - also aiding the natural environment in dealing with it and dealing with the continued negative environmental impacts of our economic activity. Hence why the negative GDP effect on the environment should scale according to the level of funding for the CCAF so that higher levels of funding would reduce the negative effect of GDP on the environment, over a long period of time - like 32 quarters or something.
Besides, I vaguely recall Cliff mentioning he wanted to find a way to do this sort of thing in a previous thread, I just don’t think he quite knew how he wanted to do it yet.
Great thread! While I understand why the environment is different than CO2 - thinking about habitats and the clean water and so forth - I think you’re on to something. But think of all the cleaning products and other crap we by. CO2 won’t cover it.
I’d love to see it work similar to reforestation, but on a much grander scale. And I’d also be okay with it getting more and more expensive with less and less impact… like the low hanging fruit is picked but then it takes even more and more effort.
Even just having the fund affect the environment directly would be fine. Currently running into the same problem in a fully decarbonized Canada with all available environmental policies maxed out and maximum GDP. Still stuck at about 60% environment. It seems like the projects listed as examples would certainly help the environment, and the fund is pretty expensive for very little benefit right now. Also probably needs a name adjustment from “Adaption” to “Adaptation”, so hoping it’ll be buffed in a future update.
CO2 emissions are independent from economic extraction from the natural environment to some extent. Even if net CO2 emissions are zero or negative, there could still be economically extractive exercises which could be bad for the environment.
I guess we model this sort of stuff with pollution, which occurs as the environment measurement drops. Pollution affects health, which will be a drag on productivity, and thus GDP and foreign investment etc,
Its several steps removed from a direct link, but i believe its accurate, and also the whole ‘A affects B which affects C which affects D’ thing is a core part of what makes the game fun :D.