Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group Ltd

The impact of the unilateral EU commitment on the stability of international climate agreements

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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.

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