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Committing to the Climate: A Global Study of Accountable Climate Targets

Frida Boräng (), Simon Felgendreher (), Niklas Harring () and Åsa Löfgren ()
Additional contact information
Frida Boräng: Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Box 711, SE- 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Simon Felgendreher: Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Niklas Harring: Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Box 711, SE- 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Åsa Löfgren: Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 7, 1-11

Abstract: The Paris Agreement has been described by many as a historical event, a turning point in the United Nations’ climate negotiations. Its success is often attributed to the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), in which countries have committed themselves to individually set targets in order to reduce emissions. However, it still remains to be agreed upon how to review and compare countries’ efforts, as outlined in the INDCs (and at later stages in the nationally determined contributions—NDCs). In this paper we suggest (and construct) a simple quantitative measure which is transparent, ensures valid comparison over time, and which can be determined for a large share of countries; a comparable indicator of country commitments in terms of so called accountable climate targets (ACTs). This indicator is then combined with a global data set of political–institutional, economic and geographic variables to understand more about which factors may affect country commitments. The results from multivariate probability unit (probit) regressions show that egalitarian principles, as well as GDP per capita, tend to be positively associated with climate commitments, while a negative association is found for CO 2 emissions per capita.

Keywords: climate change; Paris Agreement; intended nationally determined contributions (INDC); nationally determined contributions (NDC); democracy; corruption; egalitarian principles; accountable climate targets; institutional quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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