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Sharing the climate policy burden in the EU

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  • Aidt, Toke
  • Greiner, Sandra

Abstract

The question of how to share the costs of the measures to be taken against global warming is one of the most controversial questions in the international climate policy debate, and is, as yet, unsettled. The burden sharing agreement (BSA) reached by EU Member States is a rare example of a successful (regional) burden sharing scheme. The agreement was reached in two stages in March 1997 (pre-Kyoto) and in the Spring of 1998 (post-Kyoto). This paper analyses, from a political economy perspective, the factors which facilitated burden sharing within the EU and which determined the particular sharing rule adopted. Three ?stylised facts? emerge from the study. First, countries with high national targets, which were assigned relatively large shares in the pre-Kyoto BSA, had their shares reduced significantly in the post-Kyoto BSA. Second, the country presiding over the negotiations was assigned a disproportionate large share. Third, attempts were made to relax political constraints by singling out the abatement requirements of specific sectors. We propose a simple game-theoretical model to explain these facts. We show how the share of the total burden that a country has to shoulder in equilibrium depends on what national targets it adopts, the fall-back positions of the other countries, and on who chairs the negotiations -- Zu den am heftigsten umstrittenen Themenfeldern in der internationalen Klimapolitik zählt die Frage, wie die aus Klimaschutzmaßnahmen resultierenden Lasten zu verteilen sind. Ein seltenes Beispiel für eine erfolgreiche und nachvollziehbare Aufteilung von Reduktionsverpflichtungen stellt das zwischen den EU-Staaten ausgehandelte Lastenverteilungsabkommen dar. Dieses wurde in zwei Stufen, im März 1997 und im Frühjahr 1998 erreicht. Während das erste Abkommen im Vorfeld der internationalen Klimaverhandlungen von Kyoto zustande kam und einen nicht rechtsverbindlichen Charakter aufweist, wurde im zweiten, bindenden Abkommen das in Kyoto akzeptierte Gemeinschaftsziel zwischen den EU-Mitgliedsstaaten aufgeteilt. Dieser Beitrag analysiert die Faktoren, die eine Einigung innerhalb der EU ermöglicht haben und das Verhandlungsergebnis beeinflussten. Aus der Analyse des Verhandlungsprozesses ergeben sich drei stilisierte Fakten: Staaten, die ein ehrgeiziges nationales Emissionsziel aufweisen, erhielten ein hohes Reduktionsziel in der ersten Verhandlungsrunde, konnten sich in der zweiten Runde aber signifikant verbessern. Das Land, das in der jeweiligen Verhandlungsrunde die Ratspräsidentschaft innehatte, wurde mit einem höheren Lastenanteil bestraft. Über Ausnahmeregelungen für bestimmte Sektoren konnten Widerstände einflussreicher Gruppen gegen die geplante Verteilung gemildert werden. Diese Beobachtungen lassen sich anhand eines einfachen Verhandlungsspiels rationalisieren. Wir zeigen, wie der Lastenanteil, den ein Land im Gleichgewicht trägt, von seinem nationalen Ziel, der Rückfallposition anderer Länder sowie von der Frage, wer die Verhandlungen präsidiert, abhängig ist.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 176.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26159

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  1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  2. Axel Michaelowa, 1998. "Climate policy and interest Groups—A Public choice analysis," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(6), pages 251-259, November.
  3. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 427-460, June.
  4. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Barrett, Scott, 1990. "The Problem of Global Environmental Protection," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 68-79, Spring.
  6. Carsten Helm & Udo E. Simonis, 2001. "Distributive Justice in International Environmental Policy: Axiomatic Foundation and Exemplary Formulation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 10(1), pages 5-18, February.
  7. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Electoral outcomes with probabilistic voting and Nash social welfare maxima," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 113-121, February.
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Cited by:
  1. H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Strategic Delegation of Environmental Policy Making," Working Papers, Utrecht School of Economics 04-11, Utrecht School of Economics.
  2. Kesternich, Martin & Löschel, Andreas & Ziegler, Andreas, 2014. "Negotiating weights for burden sharing rules among heterogeneous parties: Empirical evidence from a survey among delegates in international climate negotiations," ZEW Discussion Papers, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research 14-031, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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