Saturday, October 27, 2012

Climate negotiations under scientific uncertainty

The PNAS paper showed that collective action fails because of uncertainty about the threshold of climate change.  The insights from the study is that a threshold like 2 degrees Celsius, which is inherently uncertain,  will not be the best thing to focus on when it comes to climate negotiation.

Two alternative  strategies for collective actions as suggested by the authors are: 1) the use of trade restrictions again nonparticipating countries as in the case of Montreal Protocol, and 2) the use of technology standards as in the case of MARPOL treaty (the returns to each country of adopting a standard increase with the number of other countries that adopt the standard). 

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