Multilevel climate clubs: A role for US states and cities?

    Student thesis: Dissertation (TFM)


    The voluntary and non-binding nature of climate change initiatives undertaken by the UNFCCC to date is making the prospect of limiting global temperature increases to 2°C increasingly unlikely. Adopting more aggressive approaches to emissions reduction in smaller “climate club” arrangements may prove to be more immediately effective in addressing this issue. As the world's largest economy and second highest emitter of carbon dioxide, the inclusion of the United States in a climate club is highly desirable. Nevertheless, despite the growing interest in reducing emissions at the state- and city-level, US involvement at the national level does not appear likely for now in light of the Trump administration's intended withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2020. Accordingly, unlike in previous studies, it is argued here that membership to climate clubs should not be limited to national governments and that many sub-national US governments could become highly valuable climate club members in their own right. Potential multilevel club members – including nations, US states and US cities – are identified using “effectiveness” indicators capturing emissions and economic influence and “likelihood of involvement” indicators based on voter support for climate action and current governmental climate policy. Existing international trade arrangements with US states are found to provide further insights into possible climate club options.
    Date of Award2 Jul 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalborg University
    • Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH)
    • Universidade de Aveiro
    SupervisorJeroen Cornelis Johannes Maria Van Den Bergh (Director)

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