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Climate Change Emergency: Climate Clubs

"When an athletic team loses 25 games in a row, it is time for a new coach. After a long string of failed climate meetings, similarly, the old design for climate agreements should be scrapped in favor of a new one that can fix its mistakes" (10).

"[I]nternational climate agreements have been based on a flawed model of how they should be structured. The central flaw has been to overlook the incentive structure. . . . [C]ountries . . . have negotiated agreements that are voluntary and promote free-riding—and are thus sure to fail" (12).

"The key to an effective climate treaty is to change the architecture, from a voluntary agreement to one with strong incentives to participate. . . . Successful international agreements function as a kind of club of nations" (14).

"There are two key features of the Climate Club that would distinguish it from previous efforts. The first is that participating countries would agree to undertake harmonized emission reductions designed to meet a climate objective (such as a two-degree temperature limit). The second and critical difference is that nations that do not participate or do not meet their obligations would incur penalties" (15).

"Although many different penalties might be considered, the simplest and most effective would be tariffs on imports from nonparticipants into club member states" (16).

Nordhaus, William. “The Climate Club: How to Fix a Failing Global Effort.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 99, no. 3, May 2020, pp. 10-17.

"The simple path to climate success requires leader countries to pursue three strategies.

  1. Apply regulations and/or carbon pricing to decarbonize domestic electricity and transportation, and work with other leader countries to globalize this effort.
  2. Apply carbon tariffs on imports from climate-laggard countries and work with other leader countries to form climate clubs that globalize this effort.
  3. Assist poorer countries in adopting low-emission energy, especially where this meets air quality and other co-benefit objectives" (27).

Jaccard, Mark. The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress. Cambridge UP, 2020.