Modeling Global Climate Negotiations, Agreements, and Long-Term Cooperation in RICE-N

Tianyu Zhang (Université de Montréal, MILA), Andrew Williams (Université de Montréal, MILA), Soham Phade (Salesforce Research), Sunil Srinivasa (Salesforce Research), Yang Zhang (MILA), Prateek Gupta (MILA, University of Oxford, The Alan Turing Institute), Yoshua Bengio (Université de Montréal, MILA, CIFAR) and Stephan Zheng (Salesforce Research)

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Comprehensive global cooperation is essential to limit global temperature increases while continuing economic development, e.g., reducing severe inequality or achieving long-term economic growth. Achieving long-term cooperation on climate change mitigation with n strategic agents poses a complex game-theoretic problem. For example, agents may negotiate and reach climate agreements, but there is no central authority to enforce adherence to those agreements. Hence, it is critical to design negotiation and agreement frameworks that foster cooperation, allow all agents to meet their individual policy objectives, and incentivize long-term adherence. This is an interdisciplinary challenge that calls for collaboration between researchers in machine learning, economics, climate science, law, policy, ethics, and other fields. In particular, we argue that machine learning is a critical tool to address the complexity of this domain. To facilitate this research, here we introduce RICE-N, a multi-region integrated assessment model that simulates the global climate and economy, and which can be used to design and evaluate the strategic outcomes for different negotiation and agreement frameworks. We also describe how to use multi-agent reinforcement learning to train rational agents using RICE-N. This framework underpins AI for Global Climate Cooperation, a working group collaboration and competition on climate negotiation and agreement design. Here, we invite the scientific community to design and evaluate their solutions using RICE-N, machine learning, economic intuition, and other domain knowledge. More information can be found on