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The Stability and Effectiveness of Climate Coalitions : A Comparative Analysis of Multiple Integrated Assessment Models

Lessmann, Kai, Kornek, Ulrike, Bosetti, Valentina, Dellink, Rob, Emmerling, Johannes, Eyckmans, Johan, Nagashima, Miyuki, Weikard, Hans-Peter, Yang, Zili
Environmental and resource economics 2015 v.62 no.4 pp. 811-836
climate, climate change, greenhouse gases, models
We report results from a comparison of numerically calibrated game theoretic integrated assessment models that explore the stability and performance of international coalitions for climate change mitigation. We identify robust results concerning the incentives of different nations to commit themselves to a climate agreement and estimate the extent of greenhouse gas mitigation that can be achieved by stable agreements. We also assess the potential of transfers that redistribute the surplus of cooperation to foster the stability of climate coalitions. In contrast to much of the existing analytical game theoretical literature, we find substantial scope for self-enforcing climate coalitions in most models that close much of the abatement and welfare gap between complete absence of cooperation and full cooperation. This more positive message follows from the use of appropriate transfer schemes that are designed to counteract free riding incentives.