Environmental policies

I find some of the policy combinations a bit bizarre.

Currently, I find it impossible to have both a strong economy and a clean environment. The -84% environment impact from a maxed out GDP cannot be overcome even with every environmental policy at full strength. Some of the combinations seem redundant however.

-If I have already banned all gas powered vehicles, than I don’t see what would be the environmental benefit of banning low MPG vehicles, yet I’m getting +16.80% to environment this, and 0 revenue from petrol tax.
-I also find it odd that banning low efficiency vehicles does produce a direct environmental benefit, yet fuel efficiency standards do not.
-If my nation’s vehicles no longer pollute, than what would be the environmental benefit of banning them from cities?
In general, with vehicles, I see these different policies as different paths to a common objective, that of eliminating the harm of vehicle pollution, not as things that I need to implement all of them to full…and still want more.

On other topics relating to the environment, I had always imagined coal restrictions as part of pollution controls in Democracy 3, but I’m glad to see more depth added to the industrial side of the environment. We could have more.
-To start, pollution controls is among the many policies that I tend to max out rather than attempting a reasonable balance. This could be addressed by having both the GDP and environment impacts be non-linear, with the environmental benefit producing diminishing returns, and the GDP negative growing at a faster rate at the top end of this policy.
-I see no mention of natural gas, which can be a divisive topic. It is a fossil fuel, and produces CO2 when burned, but produces little else. It would be good to have a policy to promote use of natural gas, which would increase CO2 emissions, but improve the environment, due to it displacing coal and oil burning.
-Mining is an industry which receives little attention in game. There is a policy to promote mining of rare earth metals, but other than that very little mention of mining. Rare earth metal mining should hurt the environment. If I remember, it does contribute to the pollution crisis directly, I would swap that out for the environmental negative, which would still contribute to the crisis.

Also on the topic of mining, I can recommend another dilemma. Mines have things called tailings ponds. If you aren’t familiar, I recommend putting that into Google and reading for 10 minutes or so, but long story short, they are horrible. It’s not uncommon when a mine runs out of useful ore for the company to use shell companies to offload responsibility for the tailings pond, and it is technically owned by nobody. After enough years of being abandoned, these things break sometimes, and spill all their contents into a local river all at once. I’m sure you can imagine the results.
The dilemma I recommend is that one of these abandoned tailings ponds may be close to breaking. Does the player: 1. dump a bunch of money 2. risk a later disaster where it breaks, causing a short lived down spike on the environment and outraging environmentalists.

That’s what I have for now for the environment. I’m sure I’ll have more later.


Well, having a big GDP is a real concern for most people, in regard to the environment. The idea goes that, the more economic activity you have, the more goods, the more services, the more mining, farming, and so on. The more stuff we do, the more natural resources we exhaust. A service economy still needs to eat and trade goods after all.

About mining, there was a concern some years ago about the rare earth requirement of most green electricity producing technology (and electric cars), due to mining, which, you are right, is an ecological disaster. I don’t know how to take it into account in the game, if not by adding a mining industry simulation and have it been impacted by a lot of stuff, such as pollution control, GDP, recycling, and so on.

I think that adding exclusive clauses to certain policies could solve the problems you indicate (by that I mean, that certain policy would replace other). I would like to point out that you can still tax airline companies and frequent flyers… even if you have closed all airports. You don’t get any money from it, but the other effects are there.

Your dilema idea is a good one I think.