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Global Climate Games: How Pricing and a Green Fund Foster Cooperation

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Abstract

The international game of cap and trade begins when countries choose their quantity targets, which are largely selected according to self interest. The analogous public-goods game, in which countries choose their abatement levels, has an uncooperative outcome. Compared to that, the Nash equilibrium of the cap-and-trade game shows that abatement can increase but that trade provides opportunities for uncooperative behavior. By contrast, a game in which all countries vote for a global quantity target or a global price target can lead to a highly cooperative choice of target. However, the assignment of responsibilities for a global quantity target stymies implementation of a global cap. The global-price-target game largely overcomes this barrier because a uniform global price provides a focal point for cooperation. However low-emission countries apparently prefer a much lower global-price than more prosperous countries unless a Green Fund is implemented. A game that couples such a fund to the global price target can largely overcome this barrier to cooperation. We describe such a game along with its equilibrium outcome, which promises to be inexpensive and cooperative.

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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton in its series Papers of Peter Cramton with number 12csgcg.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: 2012
Publication status: Published in Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, 1:2, March 2012
Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:12csgcg

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Postal: Economics Department, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-7211
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Fax: (202) 318-0520
Web page: http://www.cramton.umd.edu

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Keywords: global warming; climate change; climate treaty; cap and trade; carbon tax; carbon price; public goods;

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  1. Helm, Carsten, 2003. "International emissions trading with endogenous allowance choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2737-2747, December.
  2. Odd Godal & Bjart Holtsmark, 2011. "Permit Trading: Merely an Efficiency‐Neutral Redistribution away from Climate‐Change Victims?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(4), pages 784-797, December.
  3. Rand, David Gertler & Dreber, Anna & Fudenberg, Drew & Ellingson, Tore & Nowak, Martin A., 2009. "Positive Interactions Promote Public Cooperation," Scholarly Articles 3804483, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Hoel, Michael, 1992. "Carbon taxes : An international tax or harmonized domestic taxes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 400-406, April.
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