Long-Term Policy

Credible Commitment to Long-Term Policy

 A transition towards a low-greenhouse gas future would require changes in the energy mix that will take decades to materialize.  This begs the question whether governments can provide credible commitment (time-consistent decisions) over long spans of time – or renege on their promises.  We plan to answer this question by extending a game-theoretic model of sanctions to elucidate whether and how long-term transitions are enabled or hindered by the challenge of credible commitment.  Our empirical work will be directed at countries embarking on energy transitions, countries managing oil funds long-term (e.g., Norway and Alaska), and appropriate control groups.

Predicting Medium-Term National or EU Climate Policies

We employ the “Predictioneer’s Game” of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita to elucidate the likely 2020+ mitigation and select adaptation policies of major economies, such as China and India.  We collaborate with CICERO – Center for International Climate and Energy Research – Oslo on predicting the future shape of national Indian climate policies during the 2020+ period (funded by the Research Council of Norway).

The Compensation Fund for Climate Impacts

Sprinz and von Bünau (2013) developed a universal architecture for the compensation of damages caused by anthropogenic climate change.  In future research, we will embark on two specific questions.  First, we will compare various funding options for the Compensation Fund.  Second, we will elaborate principles of allocating responsibility in case of multiple wrongdoing states.

International Relations and Global Climate Change

We are currently revising, updating, and extending the first edition of our 2001 MIT book (Luterbacher and Sprinz 2001) to reflect the changes over the past one-and-a half decades as well as the prospects for the future of international climate policy.

Contact: Detlef F. Sprinz

+49 (331) 288-2555




Sprinz, D. F. and S. von Bünau (2013). "The Compensation Fund for Climate Impacts." Weather, Climate, and Society 5(3): 210-220.

Luterbacher, U. and D. F. Sprinz, Eds. (2001). International Relations and Global Climate Change. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press.

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