Stability of international climate coalitions -- A comparison of transfer schemes
This paper studies the impact of pragmatic and optimal transfer schemes on the incentives for regions to join international climate agreements. With an applied model that comprises twelve world regions we investigate: (i) a benchmark without transfers, (ii) scenarios with allocation-based rules where coalition members receive tradable emission permits proportional to initial or future emissions, (iii) scenarios with outcome-based rules where the coalition surplus is distributed proportional to emissions, and (iv) a scenario based on an optimal sharing rule where the coalition surplus is distributed proportional to outside option payoffs. We find that well-designed transfer schemes can stabilise larger coalitions and increase global abatement levels. In our applied setting we find that for allocation-based and outcome-based rules only small coalitions are stable, and, in the case of grandfathered emission permits, there is no stable coalition at all. Some obstacles associated with grandfathered emission permits can be overcome by incorporating the expected growth of emissions in developing countries in the distribution of emission permits. For the optimal transfer scheme we find that larger coalitions, which include key players such as the United States and China, can be stable, but no transfer scheme is capable of stabilising the Grand Coalition.
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