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Investment and Adaptation as Commitment Devices in Climate Politics

[working paper]

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

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Corporate Editor Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ
Abstract It is well established that adaptation and technological investment in each case may serve as a commitment device in international climate politics. This paper for the first time analyzes the combined impact of these two strategic variables on global mitigation within a noncooperative framework where countries either decide on mitigation before or after adaptation. By investment, which is assumed to be made in the first place due to its considerable lead time, countries commit to lower national contributions to the global public good of mitigation. We find that the sequencing of adaptation before mitigation reinforces this strategic effect of technological investments at least for sufficiently similar countries. As a consequence, the subgame-perfect equilibrium yields a globally lower level of mitigation and higher global costs of climate change when adaptation is decided before mitigation. Besides this theoretical contribution, the paper proposes some strategies to combat the unfortunate rush to adaptation which can be currently observed in climate politics.
Keywords climate policy; climate change; climate protection; international agreement; game theory; investment; technology; adaptation; political negotiation; model analysis; political strategy; model construction
Classification Special areas of Departmental Policy; Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
City Leipzig
Page/Pages 24 p.
Series UFZ Discussion Papers, 13/2013
ISSN 1436-140X
Status Published Version
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike