The very modest (to say the least) achievements of the Copenhagen climate meeting last December raised the issue of whether a comprehensive global agreement on climate change was realistic. Or even desirable, if the only way to bring everybody on board was to water down the provisions so much that considerable warming would follow even if nobody cheated. Hence the new focus on a multi-track approach, allowing coalitions of the willing to lead the effort to contain emissions.
Dritan Osmani and Richard S.J. Tol, whose specialty is economic/energy modeling, flesh out the idea with considerable analytic rigor, using Scott Barrett’s work as a starting point. Of course, models are no better than the assumptions on which they are based. But it’s nice to see that somebody is still optimistic about containing climate change.