What is it about?

Detrimental effects of the rapidly changing climate and rising carbon emissions are being increasingly recognised at the global level. While co-operative international efforts can help mitigate these effects better, they are often challenged by the conflicting interests and priorities of different nations. As the US withdrew from the collaborative Paris Climate Agreement (2015) while arguing that it would impact their economy, this may trigger a chain reaction across other nations and defeat the purpose of global efforts towards climate change interventions. This study demonstrates the benefits of a co-operative approach to aid climate change negotiations using the US as an example of a multi-state region, which can be extended to the larger global scenario.

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Why is it important?

While co-operative measures have earlier yielded beneficial outcomes in terms of reducing global carbon emissions, unfair allocation of responsibilities and disproportionate returns may discourage participating nations. This results in implementation of measures that can be best agreed upon, which may not necessarily be most effective ones. The current study provides scientific evidence on the benefits of a co-operative model to achieve carbon emission targets; and proposes measures for fair incentivization and cost-effective negotiations. Shared emission targets and inter-state trading of electricity can significantly decrease the overall emissions compared to the efforts of individual states. Further, harnessing natural sources such as wind and solar energy for electricity generation from regions suited for the same, and supplying energy to others, reduces emissions and supports the economy of the nation as a whole. However, given, the disproportionate contribution and gain associated with import and export of energy, a fair distribution of the total dividend must be ensured through a centralized process, to harmonize the benefits of co-operation. This approach could reduce the cost of electricity generation by US$41 billion per year while reducing carbon emissions by 68%. KEY TAKEAWAY A co-operative global approach can benefit participating nations economically while also significantly decreasing carbon emissions, thereby, cultivating international relations and strengthening joint efforts towards mitigating climate change.

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This page is a summary of: Time for global action: an optimised cooperative approach towards effective climate change mitigation, Energy & Environmental Science, January 2018, Royal Society of Chemistry, DOI: 10.1039/c7ee02278f.
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