Working Papers

The Financial System




Environmental Concerns and Heterogeneity in the Global Commons

Author:Hitoshi Matsushima


We examine a possibility of resolving the climate change problem, i.e., the tragedy of the global commons, through international negotiation from the viewpoint of citizens’ environmental concerns. We categorize environmental concerns into two types:environmental concerns for the pleasure from the consequence of the worldwide CO2 emission reduction achievement and the contribution to this achievement. For global citizens to resolve the problem through international consensus building, the balance between the two environmental concerns must be similar across countries. Equalizing the burden of CO2 emission reduction and homogenizing the absolute degree of environmental concerns across countries are unnecessary for solving this issue. An increase of environmental concerns will make international cooperation more difficult and rather exacerbate the climate change problem unless it mitigates the heterogeneity of this balance across countries.