Tipping Climate Negotiations

Geoffrey Heal and Howard Kunreuther

in Climate Change and Common Sense

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199692873
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738371 | DOI:
Tipping Climate Negotiations

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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 it in the interests of all others to do likewise.

Keywords: climate change; greenhouse gases; tipping; strategic complementarity; supermodularity; increasing differences; leakage

Chapter.  5021 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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