Global Carbon Emissions: An Interactive Illustration

By Stefan Reichelstein, Christos Makridis
2014 | Case No. SM234 | Length 6 pgs.

This case illustrates the tragedy of the commons through an interactive game to be played by students. At a United Nations world climate conference, students are divided into 10 regional blocs. With less than a day to go and no agreement among the regional blocs in sight, students use data in the case to advise the countries in their bloc regarding the collective level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions they should adopt. When a last minute carbon tax proposal circulates, students must also recommend whether or not their bloc should sign onto the proposal. This case package includes an Excel Spreadsheet that students can use to understand the impact on Net Domestic Product (NDP) of different carbon emissions levels. Due to the need to work in groups, the case can also serve as an icebreaker.

Learning Objective

To illustrate the tragedy of the commons through an interactive game about carbon emissions and the effect of an externality such as a carbon emissions tax.

This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff, as well as Stanford GSB alumni. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download