OECD Paper Addresses How to Raise Support for Domestic Climate Change Mitigation Policies

5 September 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Economics Department has published a working paper entitled “The Political Economy of Climate Change Mitigation Policies: How to Build a Constituency to Address Global Warming?”

Authored by Alain de Serres, John Llewellyn and Preston Llewellyn, the working paper addresses the difficulty of pushing through reforms to address climate change, taking political-economic lessons from reform experiences in a number of economic areas to illustrate how they might be applied to the case of climate change mitigation policy. It contains sections on: the challenge of addressing a distant threat in a difficult economic context; challenges and lessons of building a broad and robust constituency for domestic climate change action; the main characteristics of a cost-effective policy mix; the political economic challenges of implementing such as policy mix; and conclusions.

The authors conclude that the main issues that policymakers need to address in order to implement a successful, low-cost mitigation strategy include among others: intergenerational issues such as up-front costs whose benefits are to be paid out in the future; carbon leakages when production shifts to less regulated regions; competitiveness concerns; distributional concerns from those standing to lose the most; and concerns over the value of joining international coalitions. [Publication: The Political Economy of Climate Change Mitigation Policies-How to Build a Constituency to Address Global Warming?]