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Common ground for effort sharing? Preferred principles for distributing climate mitigation efforts

Listed author(s):
  • Hjerpe, Mattias

    (Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Nya kåkenhus, Linköping University)

  • Löfgren, Åsa

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Linnér, Björn-Ola

    (Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Nya kåkenhus, Linköping University)

  • Hennlock, Magnus

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Sterner, Thomas

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Jagers, Sverker C.

    (Social Science Division, Luleå University of Technology and Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg)

This paper fills a gap in the current academic and policy literature concerning how parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change find common ground when distributing commitments and responsibilities to curb climate change. Preferred principles for sharing the effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are compared among 170 delegates and more than 300 observers attending the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Respondents were asked to indicate their degree of support for eight effort-sharing principles for mitigation action. The survey results are analysed according to geographical region and party coalition affiliation. The results indicate that voluntary contribution, indicated as willingness to contribute, was the least preferred principle among both negotiators and observers. This could be seen as ironic, given that voluntary contribution is the guiding principle of the Copenhagen Accord. Across regions and party coalitions, agreement was strongest for basing a country’s mitigation level on its capacity to pay in terms of GDP per capita and on its historic greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 491.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 25 Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0491
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

Phone: 031-773 10 00
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  1. Lasse Ringius & Asbjørn Torvanger & Arild Underdal, 2002. "Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
  2. Lange, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten & Ziegler, Andreas, 2007. "On the importance of equity in international climate policy: An empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 545-562, May.
  3. Astrid Dannenberg & Bodo Sturm & Carsten Vogt, 2010. "Do Equity Preferences Matter for Climate Negotiators? An Experimental Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(1), pages 91-109, September.
  4. Dana R. Fisher, 2010. "COP-15 in Copenhagen: How the Merging of Movements Left Civil Society Out in the Cold," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(2), pages 11-17, May.
  5. Raymond, Leigh, 2006. "Cutting the "Gordian knot" in climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 655-658, April.
  6. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
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