One possibility to spur people on to save energy: people punish selfishness more when their group is in competition with others. That which motivates a football team to committed teamwork could also benefit climate change. The members of a group act in a particularly selfless manner and for the benefit of the group, especially when their community is in competition with others. They are then more likely to accept disadvantages themselves in order to punish members of their group who behave selfishly. A research group headed by the economics researcher Lauri Sääksvuori at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena has gained this insight by conducting investigations involving game theory. This could result in a way of spurring people on to save energy.
A striker who is primarily interested in his own goal-scoring statistics is likely to cost his team a number of victories. But if he has to make a donation to the team kitty for each instance of reckless behaviour, he will probably let the striker picked by the trainer take the penalty kick, for example. It is possible that incentives can similarly be created to promote unselfish behaviour to protect the climate, for example. This is suggested by findings obtained by researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena.