The impact of the unilateral EU commitment on the stability of international climate agreements
The negotiation strategy of the European Union was analysed with respect to the formation of an international climate agreement for the post-2012 era. Game theory was employed to explore the incentives for key players in the climate policy arena to join future climate agreements. A -20% unilateral commitment strategy by the EU was compared with a multilateral -30% emission reduction strategy for all Annex-B countries. Using a numerical integrated assessment climate-economy simulation model, we found that leakage, in the sense of strategic policy reactions on emissions, was negligible. The EU strategy to reduce emissions by 30% (compared with 1990 levels) by 2020, if other Annex-B countries follow suit, does not induce the participation of the USA with a comparable reduction commitment. However, we argue that the original EU proposal can be reshaped so as to stabilize a larger and more ambitious climate coalition than the Kyoto Protocol in its first commitment period.