Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 811–836 | Cite as

The Stability and Effectiveness of Climate Coalitions

A Comparative Analysis of Multiple Integrated Assessment Models
  • Kai Lessmann
  • Ulrike Kornek
  • Valentina Bosetti
  • Rob Dellink
  • Johannes Emmerling
  • Johan Eyckmans
  • Miyuki Nagashima
  • Hans-Peter Weikard
  • Zili Yang


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.


Coalition stability International environmental agreements  Numerical modeling Transfers 



We would like to thank all participants of the two workshops that led to this model comparison (Potsdam 8–9th of February, 2012, and Venice, 24–25th of January, 2013), and two anonymus reviewers for their helpful comments. We also benefited from feedback to presentations of the manuscript at Grantham Institute, LSE, at IGIER, Bocconi, and at the EAERE2013 conference, which is gratefully acknowledged. Ingram Jackard contributed to the review of numerical coalition models an preparation of the initial workshop, and we are grateful to Patrick Doupe, who helped us improve our style and presentation. Kai Lessmann received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF promotion references 01LA1121A). The research work of Bosetti and Emmerling was supported by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea under the GEMINA project. The research work of Nagashima was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Grant Number 23730265.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (pdf 216 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Lessmann
    • 1
  • Ulrike Kornek
    • 1
  • Valentina Bosetti
    • 2
  • Rob Dellink
    • 3
  • Johannes Emmerling
    • 4
  • Johan Eyckmans
    • 5
  • Miyuki Nagashima
    • 6
  • Hans-Peter Weikard
    • 3
  • Zili Yang
    • 7
  1. 1.Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)PotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Department of Economis, IEFE, and IGIERUniversita Bocconi and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)MilanItaly
  3. 3.Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Department of EconomicsWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC)MilanItaly
  5. 5.Center for Economics and Corporate Sustainability (CEDON)KU LeuvenBrusselsBelgium
  6. 6.Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)KyotoJapan
  7. 7.Department of EconomicsState University of New York at BinghamtonNew YorkUSA

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