Engineering Climate Change Negotiations

Andreas Knobel
ETH Zurich

November 8, 2015

ETH Zurich: Negotiation and Conflict Management Research Paper No. 15-02


Science has recently handed us an «inconveniently simple» concept to think about climate change: to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels, we may only burn a very limited amount of fossil fuels in the next hundred years. This carbon budget has to be shared fairly among nations.

Applying the novel approach of negotiation engineering, we propose a simple mathematical model for the climate change negotiations: to agree on a cutting of the carbon cake, parties select fairness principles and decide to which degree they should be applied. We call this «negotiation on principles».

We investigate some properties of the model and as an application assess the fairness of past and present allocations of the budget.

Engineering Climate Change Negotiations

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