Study: without the U.S., international climate change agreement could be reached with changes

climate change
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

November 2020 marks the earliest date that the United States can effectively withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. With the United States withdrawing, questions arise about the future global success of mitigating the effects of climate change.

Oleg Smirnov, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University, addresses these questions in a recently published paper in the Journal of Theoretical Politics. He developed a model using game theory to predict the actions of the various countries that have signed onto the Paris Agreement.

Game theory looks at competitive situations where the outcomes depend on the actions of the players of the game. In this case, the players are the countries involved in the Paris Agreement and how their actions with regard to mitigating affect the decisions and actions of other countries. Unlike other research done on this topic, the unique aspect to Smirnov's research is that actual data are used instead of hypothetical situations to predict the outcome of the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement.

Smirnov's paper notes that with the United States withdrawal, expectations fall on the remaining countries to make up the difference left to mitigate the effects of global change. However, Smirnov also writes that while developed countries have the greatest resources to combat global climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many have already committed to drastic changes and are unlikely to make more changes because many have reached their cap on what these countries feel is their fair share of contribution.

Because of this conundrum, his analysis shows much of the burden would fall on large developing countries, such as China and India, to take action to reduce their own greenhouse gas emission.

Smirnov concludes that, while technically the world can meet the Paris Agreement targets without the U.S., "The history of climate negotiations suggests that . . . large developing countries may not be willing to accept an unfair distribution from international climate negotiations."


Explore further

UN envoy says 80 countries ready to step up on climate

More information: Oleg Smirnov. Collective risk social dilemma and the consequences of the US withdrawal from international climate negotiations, Journal of Theoretical Politics (2019). DOI: 10.1177/0951629819875511
Citation: Study: without the U.S., international climate change agreement could be reached with changes (2019, September 26) retrieved 14 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-international-climate-agreement.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
4 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Sep 26, 2019
The fact is, those who claim to care about "climate change really do not.
Those who truly care have common traits. They don't necessarily accept without question what they are told. They involve themselves in the subject, even to the point of looking into alternative explanations for a situation, if only to see if the alternatives work. And they certainly don't accept specious dodges as "proof" an alternative is "untrue".
In fact, it is not "fossil fuels" that are altering the weather , it is chemtrails. So many claim the environment is critically close to disaster. Remember that chemtrail type methods were in the Air Force paper "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025"! They saw the role of jets and they gave the year precisely when effects would be unalterable!
Note, as "climate change" occurred, there is no sign they wrote an addendum to account form the new atmosphere. They knew the weather would turn out this way!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more