The value of superpower-submitted INDCs in cooperative and non-cooperative action scenarios: economic impact, dynamic risk, and temperature rise

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Caitlin M Augustin, University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States, Scott McNally, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States and Keith Benes, Columbia University, Center on Global Energy Policy, New York City, NY, United States
As the 2015 Paris climate talks near, policy discussions are focused on “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs) submitted in advance of the discussions. As the major global emitters – specifically the United States and China – have already submitted their INDCs, we have a point of comparison for evaluating the relative potential impacts of the proposed targets. By applying integrated assessment models to robust, publicly available data sets,we aim to evaluate the interplay between climate change and economic development, comment on emissions reduction scenarios in cooperative and non-cooperative situations, and assess the dynamic risks of multiple regional emissions scenarios.

We use both the RICE model and the C-ROADS model to examine alternative regional outcomes for emissions, climate change, and damages,under different reduction scenarios, including a scenario where geo-engineering plays a prominent role. These simulators allow us to vary emissions, population, and economic levels in China and the United States specifically to comment on the international climate risk impact of actors working jointly – or not – toward a global climate goal.

In a complementary piece of analysis we seek to understand the value judgments, trade-offs, and regional policies that would lead to favorable climate finance flows. To reach an international sample of industry decision-makers, we propose a novel application of a standard discrete-choice survey methodology. A conjoint analysis requires a participant to chose between combinations of attributes and identify trade-offs while allowing the researcher to determine the relative importance of each individual attribute by mathematically assessing the impact each attribute could have on total item utility. As climate policy negotiations will consist of allocation of scarce resources and rejection of certain attributes, a conjoint analysis is an ideal tool for evaluating policy outcomes. This research program seeks to provide a commentary useful to policy makers on the most desirable outcomes of the negotiations and other international cooperation.