Climate Change as a Public Choice Problem: Post-2012 Regimes for Allocation Schemes

By Eeva Kristiina Kuntsi-Reunanen.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper explores the issue of climate change in terms of the public choice problem. According to rational choice theory, individuals will generally face disincentives to undertake costly efforts to generate public goods. This generates strong free-rider incentives on others’ provision of public goods, resulting in a general failure to provide the level of public goods that all would prefer if they could act collectively. Free-rider incentives in the Kyoto Protocol may be so strong that it pays a country not to participate. Furthermore, climate policy will be particularly subject to distortions for the activities of interest groups due to the variety of groups concerned, the global repercussions and the long time-scales involved. Therefore, the degree of international cooperation is rather low despite huge potential cost savings. The theory of public choice can be helpful in explaining these discrepancies. The paper shows that addressing environmental problem by political means is never simple.

Keywords: Climate Change, International Agreements, Post-2012, Public Choice

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.85-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 752.421KB).

Eeva Kristiina Kuntsi-Reunanen

Researcher, Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland

Eeva Kuntsi-Reunanen is working as Researcher at the Department of Economics in Turku School of Economics. She has been the researcher at the Academy of Finland funded Energy policy for sustainable development in the emerging global and multilevel governance framework and the Sustainable Energy Development in Developing Countries (SEDCO) projects. She has authored scientific articles on the environmental impact of energy use and future climate policy. Kuntsi-Reunanen has written more than 20 publications and working papers on energy efficiency and climate policy issues. She has acted as a referee in Energy Policy, Energy, International Journal of Ecological Economic and Statistics, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Natural Resources Forum journals. Kuntsi-Reunanen has a biographical profile in Who’s Who in the World 2008 onwards.

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