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The Club Approach: A Gateway to Effective Climate Co-operation?

  • Jon Hovi, Detlef F. Sprinz, Håkon Sælen and Arild Underdal

Abstract

Although the Paris Agreement arguably made some progress, interest in supplementary approaches to climate change co-operation persist. This article examines the conditions under which a climate club might emerge and grow. Using agent-based simulations, it shows that even with less than a handful of major actors as initial members, a club can eventually reduce global emissions effectively. To succeed, a club must be initiated by the ‘right’ constellation of enthusiastic actors, offer sufficiently large incentives for reluctant countries and be reasonably unconstrained by conflicts between members over issues beyond climate change. A climate club is particularly likely to persist and grow if initiated by the United States and the European Union. The combination of club-good benefits and conditional commitments can produce broad participation under many conditions.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Footnotes

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Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Norway (email: jon.hovi@stv.uio.no); Potsdam Institute of Climate Research, Potsdam, Germany and Department of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam (email: dsp@pik-potsdam.de); Department of Political Science, University of Oslo and Cicero – Centre of International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo (emails: hakon.salen@cicero.oslo.no, arild.underdal@stv.uio.no). Data replication sets are available at http://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/BJPolS and online appendices are available at https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123416000788.

Footnotes

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