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Journal Article

The club approach: A gateway to effective climate co-operation?


Hovi,  J.
External Organizations;


Sprinz,  Detlef F.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Sælen,  H.
External Organizations;

Underdal,  A.
External Organizations;

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Hovi, J., Sprinz, D. F., Sælen, H., Underdal, A. (2019): The club approach: A gateway to effective climate co-operation? - British Journal of Political Science, 49, 3, 1071-1096.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_21474
Although the Paris Agreement arguably made some progress, interest in supplementary approaches to climate change co-operation persist. This article examines the conditions under which a climate club might emerge and grow. Using agent-based simulations, it shows that even with less than a handful of major actors as initial members, a club can eventually reduce global emissions effectively. To succeed, a club must be initiated by the ‘right’ constellation of enthusiastic actors, offer sufficiently large incentives for reluctant countries and be reasonably unconstrained by conflicts between members over issues beyond climate change. A climate club is particularly likely to persist and grow if initiated by the United States and the European Union. The combination of club-good benefits and conditional commitments can produce broad participation under many conditions.