According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fourth assessment report, global CO2 emissions need to be reduced by at least 50 to 85% by 2050 compared to 2000 to limit global temperature increase to 2°C. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) attempts to address the problem via international cooperation, but up to now has not been very successful, as evidenced by the Kyoto Protocol and the negotiations on a post-Kyoto agreement leading up to 2020.

The overarching objective of the CORE project is a theoretical and empirical analysis of feasible options for future climate policy agreements, accounting for long-term climate policy targets, different forms of climate negotiations procedures, technological progress and uncertainty about technological development. Specific objectives are: 


  • Analyse whether global cooperation is possible under the current setting of international negotiations on climate change, i.e. if it is possible to design a climate regime where long-term climate targets may be met and all countries agree on the distribution of reduction efforts. The analysis will take into account that countries and groups of countries taking part in the negotiations may differ in their valuation of benefits from emission reductions. Thereby, it will be explored to which extent a cooperative solution depends on the set (types and number) of participants.
  • Investigate the characteristics of the cooperative solution(s), in particular how the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is allocated among regions. The reduction targets found to lead to cooperation will be compared to current emission reduction pledges and other burden-sharing rules. Explicitly, it will be analysed to which extent the outcomes of bottom-up approaches differ from top-down approaches.
  • Evaluate the impact of uncertainty about key mitigation technologies (cost, potential, availability) on the existence and characteristics of cooperative solutions, accounting explicitly for uncertainty about availability and use of these technologies in developing and emerging countries (degree of technology transfer, leap-frogging).
  • Raise awareness among actual stakeholders in the climate negotiations about the chances and barriers of reaching cooperative solutions.