Abstract

The Paris Agreement formulates the goal of GHG neutrality in the second half of this century. Given that Nationally Determined Contributions are as yet insufficient, the question is through which policies can this goal be realized? Identifying policy pathways to ratchet up stringency is instrumental, but little guidance is available. We propose a policy sequencing framework and substantiate it using the cases of Germany and California. Its core elements are policy options to overcome barriers to stringency over time. Such sequencing can advance policy design and hopefully reconcile the controversy between first-best and second-best approaches.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Stiftung Mercator Foundation and Climate Works under the research project AHEAD. The authors thank all participants of the AHEAD project workshops in Berlin and Berkeley for helpful comments, as well as numerous stakeholders from governments, regulatory agencies, business and academia who informed this research via personal conversations.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany

    • Michael Pahle
    •  & Ottmar Edenhofer
  2. Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, USA

    • Dallas Burtraw
  3. Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany

    • Christian Flachsland
    •  & Ottmar Edenhofer
  4. Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Germany

    • Christian Flachsland
  5. Elliott School of International Affairs and Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

    • Nina Kelsey
  6. School of Law, University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Eric Biber
  7. Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Jonas Meckling
  8. Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

    • Ottmar Edenhofer
  9. Political Science, University of California–Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • John Zysman
  10. Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), Berkeley, CA, USA

    • John Zysman

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Michael Pahle.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0287-6