Tipping Climate Negotiations

19 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011 Last revised: 26 Apr 2011

See all articles by Geoffrey M. Heal

Geoffrey M. Heal

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Howard Kunreuther

University of Pennsylvania - Operations, Information and Decisions Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2011

Abstract

Thinking about tipping provides a novel perspective on finding a way forward in climate negotiations and suggests an alternative to the current framework of negotiating a global agreement on reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Recent work on non-cooperative games shows games with increasing differences have multiple equilibria and have a "tipping set," a subset of agents who by changing from the inefficient to the efficient equilibrium can induce all others to do the same. We argue that international climate negotiations may form such a game and so have a tipping set. This set is a small group of countries who by adopting climate control measures can make in the interests of all others to do likewise.

Suggested Citation

Heal, Geoffrey M. and Kunreuther, Howard C., Tipping Climate Negotiations (April 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16954. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1810308

Geoffrey M. Heal (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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New York, NY 10027
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HOME PAGE: http://www.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/gheal/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Howard C. Kunreuther

University of Pennsylvania - Operations, Information and Decisions Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-5340
United States
212-854-0423 (Phone)
215-573-2130 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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