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Title: How adaptation changes the climate game : climate change regimes in a non-cooperative, asymmetric world
Author: Leib, Joerg
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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The history of the UNFCCC climate negotiations over the past 20 years has shown how difficult it is to reach an international climate agreement that is both legally binding and environmentally effective enough to ensure that humankind can avoid the worst consequences projected from climate change. Some experts even see the world drifting towards a 4°C mean temperature rise. It is therefore necessary to start exploring what future, non-cooperative climate change regimes might be expected to look like. One immediate consequence is that adaptation to climate change has become increasingly relevant; on a humanitarian, political, economic and the scientific level. The economic incentive structure of adaptation is different and, actually, more favourable than that of mitigation, with respect to both their inter- and intratemporal externalities. The ability to adapt makes a higher level of climate change tolerable. Furthermore, my research shows that adaptation empowers the poor to develop and to enforce a more equitable use of the atmospheric carbon sink; it may potentially also lead to an overall reduction of carbon emissions. Ultimately, it turns out that even in a non-cooperative, asymmetric world, there are prospects for clean technology transfer and adaptation funding. Drawing on the AK growth model with climate change developed by Buckle (2009a,b), the aim of this work is (i) to create a tractable, transparent economic growth model that includes climate damages and emissions abatement, (ii) to develop an adequate analytical representation of adaptation, and (iii) to analyze with the help of game-theoretic methods how the option to undertake adaptation affects the strategic nature of climate negotiations and, in particular, the outcome under a non-cooperative climate change regime.
Supervisor: Buckle, Simon ; Knight, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral