The impact of the unilateral EU commitment on the stability of international climate agreements
Bréchet, T. Eyckmans, Johan Gérard, F. Marbaix, P. Tulkens, H. Van Ypersele, J.-P.
HUB research paper 2008/43 pages:1-27
In this paper we analyze the negotiation strategy of the European Union regarding the formation of an international climate agreement for the post-2012 era. We use game theoretical stability concepts to explore incentives for key players in the climate policy game to join future climate agreements. We compare a minus 20 percent unilateral commitment strategy by the EU with a multilateral minus 30 percent emission reduction strategy for all Annex-B countries. Using a numerical integrated assessment climate-economy simulation model, we find that carbon leakage effects are negligible. The EU strategy to reduce emissions by 30% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020 if other Annex-B countries follow does not induce participation of the USA with a similar 30% reduction commitment. However, the model shows that an appropriate initial allocation of emission allowances may stabilize a larger and more ambitious climate coalition than the Kyoto Protocol in its first commitment period.