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International Climate Agreements, Cost Reductions and Convergence of Partisan Politics

By Patrick Laurency and Dirk Schindler

Abstract

In recent years, differences between traditional and green parties have been leveled with respect to climate protection. We show that this partial convergence in party platforms can be explained by international climate agreements, effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We set up a voting model in which political parties differ in their preferences for climate protection and in which (national) climate protection causes both resource costs and distortions in the international allocation of production. International agreements, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease effective abatement costs. This affects traditional parties in a different way than green parties, since a lower preference for climate protection implies a higher price (cost) elasticity of demand. Thus, climate agreements can lead to more political consensus within countries, even if politicians are partisans. We also point out that increasing flexibility and efficiency in abatement mechanisms is preferable to forming a climate coalition that focuses directly on emission reduction commitments.climate protection, political economy, green parties, platform convergence

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