Regional initiatives and the cost of delaying binding climate change agreements
Regional initiatives and the cost of delaying binding climate change agreements / Julien Beccherle & Jean Tirole. Journal of public economics, Vol 95, N°11-12, December 2011, pp. 1339-1348.
The Kyoto and Copenhagen Protocols on climate change mitigation postponed the specification of binding commitments to a future negotiation. This paper analyzes the strategic implications of delayed negotiations. While, as iswell-understood, the incentive to free ride leads to excessive emissions prior to a binding agreement, the cost of delay is magnified by players’ attempt to secure a favorable bargaining position in the future negotiation. A “brinkmanship”, an “effort rebalancing”, and a “raising rival’s cost” effects all concur to generate high post-agreement emissions. The paper applies this general insight to a variety of policy instruments, from the issuance of forward or bankable permits to standards and green investment policies. (© the authors)