Domestic and international climate policies: complementarity or disparity?


Climate change is a global crisis that requires countries to act on both domestic and international levels. This paper examines how climate policies in these two arenas are related and to what extent domestic and international climate ambitions are complementary or disparate. While scholarly work has begun to assess the variation in overall climate policy ambition, only a few studies to date have tried to explain whether internationally ambitious countries are ambitious at home and vice versa. According to the common view, countries that are more ambitious at home can also be expected to be more ambitious abroad. Many scholars, however, portray the relationship instead as disparate, whereby countries need to walk a tightrope between the demands of their domestic constituencies on the one hand and international pressures on the other, while preferring the former over the latter. This study uses quantitative methods and employs data from the OECD DAC dataset on climate finance to measure international climate ambitions. Overall, the present work makes two major contributions. First, it provides evidence that international climate financing ambition is complementary to domestic climate ambition. Second, the article identifies the conditional effect of domestic ambition—with regard to responsibility, vulnerability, carbon-intensive industry and economic capacity—on international climate ambition.

The CCPI data is requested and used for research and science purposes. The CCPI was used as a source in this paper.

Peterson, Lauri (2022): Domestic and international climate policies: complementarity or disparity? In: International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics