Advertisement

Climatic Change

, Volume 138, Issue 1–2, pp 339–351 | Cite as

An experimental investigation into ‘pledge and review’ in climate negotiations

  • Scott BarrettEmail author
  • Astrid Dannenberg
Article

Abstract

A novelty of the new Paris Agreement is the inclusion of a process for assessment and review of countries’ nationally determined pledges and contributions. The intent is to reveal whether similar countries are making comparable pledges, whether the totality of such pledges will achieve the global goal, and whether, over the coming years, the contributions actually made by countries will equal or exceed their pledges. The intent is also to provide an opportunity for countries to express their approval, or disapproval, of the pledges and contributions made by individual countries. Here we report the results of a lab experiment on the effects of such a process in a game in which players choose a group target, declare their individual pledges, and then make voluntary contributions to supply a public good. Our results show that a review process is more likely to affect targets and pledges than actual contributions. Even when a review process increases average contributions, the effect is relatively small. As the window for achieving the 2 °C goal will close soon, our results suggest that, rather than merely implement the Paris Agreement, negotiators should begin now to develop complementary approaches to limiting emissions, including the adoption of agreements that are designed differently than the one adopted in Paris.

Keywords

Payoff Review Process Free Rider Paris Agreement Review Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Alessandro Tavoni and two anonymous reviewers for comments and James Rising for developing the software for our spinning wheel. We are also grateful to the Magdeburg Experimental Laboratory for Economic Research team at Magdeburg University for support in conducting the experiment. This work was supported by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies research community on Communicating Uncertainty: Science, Institutions, and Ethics in the Politics of Global Climate Change and the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant “Human Cooperation to Protect the Global Commons” (HUCO, Project Number: 636746).

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1711_MOESM1_ESM.docx (724 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 724 kb)

References

  1. Aldy JE (2014) The crucial role of policy surveillance in international climate policy. Clim Chang 126:279–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldy JE, Pizer WA (2014) Alternative metrics for comparing domestic climate change mitigation efforts and the emerging international climate policy architecture. Rev Environ Econ Policy 6:86–109Google Scholar
  3. Barrett S (2003) Environment and statecraft: the strategy of environmental treaty-making. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrett S (2013) Climate treaties and approaching catastrophes. J Environ Econ Manag 66:235–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrett S, Dannenberg A (2012) Climate negotiations under scientific uncertainty. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:17372–17376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barrett S, Dannenberg A (2014) Sensitivity of collective action to uncertainty about climate tipping points. Nat Clim Chang 4:36–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baumeister RF (1998) The self. In: Gilbert D, Fiske S, Lindzey G (eds) The handbook of social psychology. McGraw-Hill, BostonGoogle Scholar
  8. Dannenberg A (2016) Nonbinding agreements in public goods experiments. Oxf Econ Pap. doi: 10.1093/oep/gpv048 Google Scholar
  9. Dannenberg A, Löschel A, Paolacci G, Reif C, Tavoni A (2015) On the provision of public goods with probabilistic and ambiguous thresholds. Environ Resour Econ 61:365–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Felder S, Rutherford TF (1993) Unilateral CO2 reductions and carbon leakage: the consequences of international trade in oil and basic materials. J Environ Econ Manag 25:162–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischbacher U (2007) Z-tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments. Exp Econ 10:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. International Energy Agency (2015) World energy outlook special report: executive summary. International Energy Agency, ParisGoogle Scholar
  13. Keith DW (2009) Why capture CO2 from the atmosphere? Science 325(5948):1654–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Keohane RO, Victor DG (2011) The regime complex for climate change. Perspect Polit 9:7–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ledyard JO (1995) Public goods: a survey of experimental research. In: Kagel JH, Roth AE (eds) The handbook of experimental economics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 111–194Google Scholar
  16. López-Pérez R, Vorsatz M (2010) On approval and disapproval: theory and experiments. J Econ Psychol 31:527–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Masclet D, Noussair C, Tucker S, Villeval MC (2003) Monetary and nonmonetary punishment in the voluntary contributions mechanism. Am Econ Rev 93:366–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Milinski M, Sommerfeld RD, Krambeck HJ, Reed FA, Marotzke J (2008) The collective-risk social dilemma and the prevention of simulated dangerous climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:2291–2294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nordhaus W (2015) Climate clubs: overcoming free-riding in international climate policy. Am Econ Rev 105:1339–1370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rogelj J, Nabel J, Chen C, Hare W, Markmann K, Meinshausen M, Schaeffer M, Macey K, Höhne N (2010) Copenhagen accord pledges are paltry. Nature 464:1126–1128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tavoni A, Dannenberg A, Kallis G, Löschel A (2011) Inequality, communication and the avoidance of disastrous climate change in a public goods game. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:11825–11829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Thompson A (2006) Management under anarchy: the international politics of climate change. Clim Chang 78:7–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. UNFCCC Secretariat (2015) Synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions. 30 October 2015 at http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/07.pdf
  24. Victor DG, Kennel CF (2014) Climate policy: ditch the 2 °C warming goal. Nature 514:30–31Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs & Earth InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations