The Cauldron Game
Countries / Regions
Senegal; Kenya; Tanzania; UK
University of Oxford, Met Office, AfClix, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre
Prof Ros Cornforth, Dr Hannah Young, Emily Boyd, Myles Allen, Friederike Otto, Rachel James, Richard Jones, Pablo Suarez
The CAULDRON (Climate Attribution Under Loss & Damage: Risking, Observing, Negotiating) Game is a game designed by the University of Reading (AfClix, Walker Institute) and the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, in partnership with the Red Cross Climate Centre as part of the ACE-Africa (Attributing impacts of external climate drivers on extreme weather in Africa) project.
The CAULDRON game aims to foster cross-sector discussion around the science of extreme weather event attribution and its potential for use in policy-making, especially in UNFCCC Loss and Damage Work Programme negotiations. The engaging and fast-paced game encourages players to understand the role of climate change and extreme events against a backdrop of changing risk. Strong emotions arise as players find themselves changing roles and pressured to make fast decisions whilst working together to address challenges such as drought – hence the name “the CAULDRON”.
As farmers in either a developed country or in a developing country, players make planting decisions using either a normal or loaded ‘climate’ dice to determine the rainfall. Moving into the shoes of climate scientists, players next find themselves having to address questions about whether climate change has altered the risk of drought in their country and how many of the droughts being experienced might be attributable to climate change.
Players can roll a ‘climate model’ dice to understand the statistics. But is the climate model reliable? Finally, players assume the role of policy makers and have to negotiate a climate change treaty for their region. Developed countries are historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. Does that make them responsible for loss and damage in developing countries? How strong does the evidence have to be? Do they use their resources to help the countries which have suffered damages?
A plausible agreement between developed and developing countries needs to be written and signed by all participants at the end of the game. All the resources needed to run the game yourself are available for download from this page (see the README document for a description of the files). If you do use the game we’d love to hear about your experiences so please get in touch!