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Ilya Stepanov, Natella Agikyan1,2, Evgeniya Muzychenko1,3
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 HSE, 17 Malaya Ordinka, Moscow, 119017, Russia
  • 3 HSE, 17 Malaya Ordynka St., Moscow, 119017, Russia

What Determines the Ambitiousness of Climate Policy in Different Сountries?

2021. Vol. 16. No. 4. P. [issue contents]

Climate change is considered to be the one of the most challenging problems of the 21st century and requires coordinated action by the governments across the globe. The Paris Agreement, ratified by most countries of the world, sets the goal of keeping the average temperature rise within 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. As part of the Agreement, countries set Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, determined voluntarily. Because these targets are nationally determined, they depend on domestic constraints and the additional opportunities that individual countries' emission reduction strategies present.

As a result, climate policies vary widely among countries, both in terms of the emission reduction targets and the policy instruments used. This study aims to systematize the factors influencing climate policy and relies on factor and cluster analysis methods. Factor analysis is used to aggregate a set of investigated statistical indicators, reflecting the country's development level, exposure to climate risks, energy endowment, and foreign trade specialization, into a series of principal components. Based on the selected principal components, the countries are clustered into homogeneous groups and the indicators of climate policy ambition are compared among the clusters. The results of the study demonstrate that climate change vulnerability is not a determinant of climate policy. As a rule, the poorest and most vulnerable countries set the least ambitious emission reduction targets. At the same time, rich and energy-abundant countries are more likely to implement active climate policies and set more ambitious emissions reduction targets, compared to energy-intensive countries and countries that specialize in exporting carbon-intensive products. More advanced climate policy instruments, such as a carbon tax or emissions trading system, are used more frequently in more advanced and energy-deficient countries.

Citation: Stepanov I, Agikyan N., Muzychenko E. (2021) What Determines the Ambitiousness of Climate Policy in Different Сountries. International Organisations Research Journal. Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. (in English)
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