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Investment and adaptation as commitment devices in climate policy deteriorate mitigation

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  • Peters, Wolfgang
  • Heuson, Clemens
  • Schwarze, Reimund
  • Topp, Anna-Katharina

Abstract

The strategy of adaptation to climate change has become a central topic within the UNFCCC negotiations in recent years. On the national level, adaptation plans are elaborated, and on the international level, the need for funding adaptation in developing countries is discussed. This tendency shows that adaptation is likely to be advanced relative to mitigation on the political agenda. Therefore, we analyze the economic consequences of the timing of mitigation and adaptation in a game-theoretic framework regarding as well the importance of technological investments for mitigation. Due to strategic behavior, the activity in mitigation deteriorates when adaptation is advanced. As a consequence, the resulting subgame-perfect equilibrium yields higher total costs. We demonstrate that this result is even reinforced when technological investments are regarded, i.e. the negative effects of advancing adaptation relative to the opposite timing are amplified.

Suggested Citation

  • Peters, Wolfgang & Heuson, Clemens & Schwarze, Reimund & Topp, Anna-Katharina, 2013. "Investment and adaptation as commitment devices in climate policy deteriorate mitigation," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79719, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79719
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, May.
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    8. Udo Ebert & Heinz Welsch, 2012. "Adaptation and Mitigation in Global Pollution Problems: Economic Impacts of Productivity, Sensitivity, and Adaptive Capacity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(1), pages 49-64, May.
    9. Bohringer, Christoph & Vogt, Carsten, 2004. "The dismantling of a breakthrough: the Kyoto Protocol as symbolic policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 597-617, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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