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US, China and the economics of climate negotiations


  • Carlo Carraro

    () (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Ca� Foscari)

  • Barbara Buchner

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)


Despite the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the US decision not to comply with its Kyoto commitments seems to drastically undermine the effectiveness of the Protocol in controlling GHG emissions. Therefore, it is important to explore whether there are economic incentives that might help the US to modify its current decision and move to a more environmentally effective climate policy. For example, can an increased participation of developing countries induce the US to effectively participate in the effort to reduce GHG emissions? Is a single emission trading market the appropriate policy framework to increase the signatories of the Kyoto Protocol? This paper addresses the above questions by analysing whether the participation of China in the cooperative effort to control GHG emissions can provide adequate incentives for the US to re-join the Kyoto process and eventually ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This paper analyses three different climate regimes in which China could be involved and assesses the economic incentives for the major world countries and regions to participate in these three regimes. The main conclusion is that the participation of the US in a climate regime is not likely, at least in the short run. The US is more likely to adopt unilateral policies than to join the present Kyoto coalition (even when it includes China). However, a two bloc regime would become the most preferred option if both China and the US, for some political or environmental reasons, decide to cooperate on GHG emission control. If the US decides to cooperate, the climate regime that provides the highest economic incentives to the cooperating countries is the one in which China and the US cooperate bilaterally, with the Annex B-US countries remaining within the Kyoto framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Carraro & Barbara Buchner, 2006. "US, China and the economics of climate negotiations," Working Papers 2006_07, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2006_07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barbara Buchner & Silvia Dall’Olio, 2004. "Russia: The Long Road to Ratification. Internal Institution and Pressure Groups in the Kyoto Protocol’s Adoption Process," Working Papers 2004.151, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, January.
    3. Nordhaus, William D & Yang, Zili, 1996. "A Regional Dynamic General-Equilibrium Model of Alternative Climate-Change Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 741-765, September.
    4. Böhringer, Christoph & Löschel, Andreas, 2001. "Market power in international emissions trading : the impact of U.S. withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-58, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. 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.
    6. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Buonanno, Paolo & Carraro, Carlo & Galeotti, Marzio, 2003. "Endogenous induced technical change and the costs of Kyoto," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-34, February.
    9. Alan S. Manne & Richard G. Richels, 1999. "The Kyoto Protocol: A Cost-Effective Strategy for Meeting Environmental Objectives?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-23.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Gampfer, 2016. "Minilateralism or the UNFCCC? The Political Feasibility of Climate Clubs," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 16(3), pages 62-88, August.
    2. Lessmann, Kai & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2011. "Research cooperation and international standards in a model of coalition stability," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 36-54, January.

    More about this item


    Agreements; Climate; Incentives; Negotiations; Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy


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