The relevance of fairness principles for successful cooperation - An analysis of the choice and impact of equity rules in international climate negotiations (Klimaverhandlungen)

Duration: October 2010 until November 2013

Project coordination: Centre for European Economic Researche (ZEW) Mannheim

Cooperation partners: Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur (HTWK) Leipzig, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, University of Kassel (Chair of Empirical Economic Research) as subcontractor of ZEW

Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), funding priority "Economics of Sustainability" ("Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Nachhaltigkeit", WiN II)

Summary: Due to the manifold impacts on humankind and nature, global climate warming is one of the most important societal challenges of of the present. However, measures to mitigate anthropogenic climate change alone are not sufficient. Therefore, international agreements on the reduction of greenhouse gas and particularly CO2 emissions are necessary, whereby it turned out that their implementation, enforcement, and compliance is problematic. For example, such agreements require the coordination and cooperation of many heterogeneous actors (i.e. countries). Thereby, it can be assumed that sovereign states would only cooperate if this yields economic advantages for the country or if potential disadvantages are compensated by positive effects in other policy areas. Since costs and benefits of emission reductions as well as economic capabilities and historical responsibilities for CO2 emissions differ significantly across regions, the perception of fairness and equity plays a central role.

Thus, the objective of this project was to analyze the impact of equity rules in context of the distribution of global CO2 emission allowances in international climate negotations; an apsect that had rarely been studied economically. In particular, only a few empirical analyses had been conducted so far. The project mainly focused on the acceptance of equity rules as basis for voluntary cooperation. One core reasearch question was to what extent the heterogeneity of the actors involved along a variety of dimensions (e.g. economic capability, costs and benefits of emission reductions, population size) could allow effective international climate agreements on the basis of equity rules and whether such actors would agree to cooperation.

Publications and papers:

Kesternich, Martin, Andreas Löschel, and Andreas Ziegler (2021), Negotiating weights for burden sharing rules in international climate negotiations: An empirical analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, forthcoming 

Contact: Prof. Dr. Andreas Ziegler (andreas.ziegler@uni-kassel.de)