The importance of voluntary contributions and fairness preferences for the success of international climate politics: A theoretical and empirical analysis at the individual level (VolFair)

Duration: March 2012 until October 2015

Project coordination: University of Kassel, Chair of Empirical Economic Research

Cooperation partners: Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) Karlsruhe, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) Mannheim, Universität Hamburg, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich

Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), first phase of the funding priority "Economics of Climate Change" ("Ökonomie des Klimawandels")

Summary: There is consensus within the international community of states to mitigate the consequences of anthropogenic climate change by reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Previous climate negotiations revealed that successful international agreements depend on at least three core elements: The acceptance of the negotiation outcome within the population, the cooperation and coordination of many heterogeneous negotiating partners as well as the implementation of negotiating outcomes in concrete national climate protection measures. During this implementation process, political actors also have to consider voluntary climate protection activities.

The objective of this project was to deepen and extend the understanding of successful climate negotiations. That comprised an analysis of the role of acceptance of international climate agreements at the individual level. Of particular interest was to what extent the interdependent relationship between the population and participants of climate negotiations affected the success of international climate negotiations. Moreover, the relevance of equity and fairness preferences within the population was examined. Finally, particularly individual voluntary climate protection measures were analyzed, especially with respect to their potential effects on international climate agreements.

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Publications and papers:

Schwirplies, Claudia, Elisabeth Dütschke, Joachim Schleich, and Andreas Ziegler (2019), The willingness to offset CO2 emissions from traveling: Findings from discrete choice experiments with different framings, Ecological Economics 165

Schleich, Joachim, Claudia Schwirplies, and Andreas Ziegler (2018), Do perceptions of international climate policy stimulate or discourage voluntary climate protection activities? A study of German and US households, Climate Policy 18 (5), 568-580

Ziegler, Andreas (2017), Political orientation, environmental values, and climate change beliefs and attitudes: An empirical cross country analysis, Energy Economics 63, 144-153

Lange, Andreas, Claudia Schwirplies, and Andreas Ziegler (2017), On the interrelation between the consumption of impure public goods and the provision of direct donations: Theory and empirical evidence, Resource and Energy Economics 47, 72-88 

Schwirplies, Claudia and Andreas Ziegler (2016), Offset carbon emissions or pay a price premium for avoiding them? A cross-country analysis of motives for climate protection, Applied Economics 48 (9), 746-758

Schleich, Joachim, Elisabeth Dütschke, Claudia Schwirplies, and Andreas Ziegler (2016), Citizens' perceptions of justice in international climate policy: An empirical analysis, Climate Policy 16 (1), 50-67

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