Global climate Control

Regional versus global cooperation for climate control
October 22, 2014 – 12:13 pm

Cover imageThis paper considers whether international environmental public goods provision, such as mitigation of climate change, is better dealt with through regional cooperation than through a global treaty. Previous research suggests that, at best, a global environmental treaty will achieve very little. At worst, it will fail to enter into force. Using a simple dynamic game-theoretic model, with weakly renegotiation-proof equilibrium as solution concept, we demonstrate that two agreements can sustain a larger number of cooperating parties than a single global treaty. The model provides upper and lower bounds on the number of parties under each type of regime. It is shown that a regime with two agreements can Pareto dominate a regime based on a single global treaty. We conclude that regional cooperation might be a good alternative–or supplement–to global environmental agreements.


  • Climate change;
  • International environmental agreements;
  • Regional cooperation;
  • The Kyoto Protocol;
  • Non-cooperative game theory;
  • Public goods;
  • Weak renegotiation proofness
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Popular Q&A
What evidence is there that the processes which regulate the global climate can oscillate out of control based on human activity?

To the best of my knowledge, people aren't worried about out-of-control oscillations (i.e. a chaotic regime) - one day it's 160 degrees F, the next day it's -42. The concerns are about hysteresis loops. In other words, you can go forward gradually but once you reach a tipping point, you can't go backwards just a little bit and have it revert. There is no "undo" available. You end up in a different state.
This will give you an idea of what I mean (one of many types of hysteresis in the climate):

Is global climate controlled through the sulfur cycle?

The sun is in control of the climate on this planet.

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