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Innovative Research
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Intertemporal Fairness in Global Climate Cooperation

Which types of intertemporal cost distributions are likely to find majority support in industrialised emitter countries?

Project Summary

Why do countries find it difficult to realise an effective global climate deal? Limiting global warming requires countries to cooperate over many decades and involves making contentious decisions about the intertemporal and intergenerational distribution of climate costs. So far, however, we lack knowledge about which types of intertemporal cost distributions are likely to find majority support in industrialised emitter countries. This research project will explore which temporal distribution of climate costs publics support and which types of temporal distributions they prefer for other countries. To this end, the research team will develop a theory of intertemporal fairness in climate cooperation that focuses on the intergenerational dimension of climate policy cost distributions. The research team will evaluate the theoretical arguments using behavioral measures of fairness norms and time preferences in combination with randomised conjoint experiments embedded in representative surveys in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

These states are major industrialised countries that not only account for a noteworthy share of global emissions but also will have to make significant contributions to tackling climate change that may help realise an effective global climate deal. The insights gained in this project will advance the academic debate about the role of intertemporal fairness in climate cooperation and the sources of variation in dynamic policy preferences. They also promise to generate scientific knowledge that will enable policymakers to design climate policies that are more likely to be politically acceptable in major emitter countries.

Research Team

Michael M. Bechtel
Coordinator
University of St. Gallen

Charles Kolstad
Co-Coordinator
Stanford University

Kenneth F. Scheve
Co-Coordinator
Stanford University

Massimo Mannino
Principal Member
University of St. Gallen

Lukas Schmid
Principal Member
University of St. Gallen

Status

completed

Disciplines

Themes

Regions

Countries

France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America

Host Institution

Coordinator

Year