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The Kyoto protocol: an economic and game theoretic interpretation

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  • CHANDER, Parkash

    (Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), New Delhi and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • TULKENS, Henry

    () (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), 1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium)

  • VAN YPERSELE, Jean - Pascal

    (Institut d'Astronomie et de Géophysique Georges Lemaître (ASTR), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), 1348 Louvain la Neuve, Belgium)

  • WILLEMS, Stefane

    (Task Force Développement Durable (TFDD), Bureau fédéral du Plan, Brussels, Belgium)

Abstract

Calling upon both positive and normative economics, we attempt to characterize the issues at stake in the current international negotiations on climatic change. We begin (Section 2) by reviewing the main features of the Protocol. Then (Section 3), we identify by means of an elementary economic model the main concepts involved: optimality, non cooperation, coalitional stability. We observe (Section 4) that "business-as-usual", "no regrets" and other domestic policies are alternative ways to conceive of the non cooperative equilibrium prevailing before the negotiations. Which one should be retained ? Data suggest that the prevailing situation is a mixed one, exhibiting characteristics of several of these policies. We then turn (Section 5) to interpreting the Protocol. While there is no firm basis to assert that the emission quotas chosen at Kyoto correspond to optimal emissions (although they are a step in the right direction), economic and game theoretical arguments are put forward to support the view that for achieving these emission quotas, trading ensures efficiency, as well as coalitional stability for the agreement provided it is adopted at the largest scale i.e. worldwide. Finally, it is argued in Section 6 that beyond the Kyoto Protocol,the achievement of coalitionally stable optimality at the world level is a real possibility with trading, provided agreement can be reached in the future as to appropriate reference emission levels, in particular as far as developing countries are concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • CHANDER, Parkash & TULKENS, Henry & VAN YPERSELE, Jean - Pascal & WILLEMS, Stefane, 1999. "The Kyoto protocol: an economic and game theoretic interpretation," CORE Discussion Papers 1999025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1999025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Parkash Chander & Henry Tulkens, 1995. "A core-theoretic solution for the design of cooperative agreements on transfrontier pollution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 279-293, August.
    2. GERMAIN, Marc & TOINT, Philippe & TULKENS, Henry & DE ZEEUW, Aart, 1998. "Transfers to sustain core-theoretic cooperation in international stock pollutant control," CORE Discussion Papers 1998032, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Chander, Parkash & Tulkens, Henry, 1992. "Theoretical foundations of negotiations and cost sharing in transfrontier pollution problems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 388-399, April.
    4. Henry Tulkens & Parkash Chander, 1997. "The Core of an Economy with Multilateral Environmental Externalities," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 26(3), pages 379-401.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henry, TULKENS & Parkash, CHANDER, 2006. "Cooperation, stability and self-enforcement in interational environmental agreements : a conceptual discussion," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006003, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques, revised 15 Jan 2006.
    2. Johan Eyckmans & Michael Finus, 2006. "New roads to international environmental agreements: the case of global warming," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 7(4), pages 391-414, December.
    3. Lasserre, Pierre & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2003. "A Ricardian model of the tragedy of the commons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 29-45, January.
    4. De Cian, Enrica & Tavoni, Massimo, 2012. "Do technology externalities justify restrictions on emission permit trading?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 624-646.
    5. Cairns, Robert D. & Lasserre, Pierre, 2006. "Implementing carbon credits for forests based on green accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 610-621, April.
    6. VAN STEENBERGHE, Vincent, 2004. "Core-stable and equitable allocations of greenhouse gas emission permits," CORE Discussion Papers 2004075, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Shreekant Gupta, 2000. "Incentive-Based Approaches for Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Issues and Prospects for India," Working papers 85, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    8. Thierry Brechet and Henry Tulkens, 2015. "Climate Policies: A Burden, or a Gain?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    9. Eyckmans, Johan & Tulkens, Henry, 2003. "Simulating coalitionally stable burden sharing agreements for the climate change problem," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 299-327, October.
    10. Bosello, Francesco & Buchner, Barbara & Carraro, Carlo & Raggi, Davide, 2003. "Can Equity Enhance Efficiency? Some Lessons from Climate Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3606, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Paolo Buonanno & Carlo Carraro & Efrem Castelnuovo & Marzio Galeotti, 2001. "Emission Trading Restrictions with Endogenous Technological Change," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 379-395, July.
    12. Toshiyuki Fujita, 2004. "Design of international environmental agreements under uncertainty," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 6(2), pages 103-118, June.
    13. CHANDER, Parkash & TULKENS, Henry, 2011. "The kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Accord, the Cancun Agreements, and beyond: an economic and game theoretical exploration and interpretation," CORE Discussion Papers 2011051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. Porchiung Chou & Cheickna Sylla, 2008. "The formation of an international environmental agreement as a two-stage exclusive cartel formation game with transferable utilities," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 317-341, December.
    15. Lixon, Benoit & Thomassin, Paul J. & Hamaide, Bertrand, 2008. "Industrial output restriction and the Kyoto protocol: An input-output approach with application to Canada," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 249-258, December.

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