Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture

61 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2014

See all articles by Joseph E. Aldy

Joseph E. Aldy

Harvard Kennedy School; National Bureau of Economic Research; Resources for the Future; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

William A. Pizer

Duke University

Date Written: February 13, 2014

Abstract

The comparability of domestic actions to mitigate global climate change has important implications for the stability, equity, and efficiency of international climate agreements. We examine a variety of metrics that could be used to evaluate countries’ climate change mitigation effort and illustrate their potential application for large developed and developing countries. We also explain how transparent measures of the comparability of effort can contribute to the design of international and domestic climate change policy along several dimensions. For example, such measures can facilitate participation and compliance in an agreement if they can illustrate that all parties are doing their “fair share.” Second, these measures can inform the bilateral linking of domestic cap-and-trade programs in a manner akin to how nations negotiate the lowering of trade barriers more generally in trade policy. Third, assessments of the comparability of effort can affect whether to implement and, if necessary, the stringency of unilateral border measures (e.g., a border tax). Finally, such assessments demonstrate the need for a well-functioning policy surveillance regime.

Keywords: climate change, climate policy

Suggested Citation

Aldy, Joseph E. and Pizer, William A., Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture (February 13, 2014). HKS Working Paper No. RWP14-006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2449645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2449645

Joseph E. Aldy (Contact Author)

Harvard Kennedy School

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-7213 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/joseph-aldy

National Bureau of Economic Research

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Resources for the Future

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-7213 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/joseph-aldy

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

William A. Pizer

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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