The Future of International Climate Politics: an Agent-Based Approach
Climate change, being one of the most important problems that affect the modern civilization, has become a pressing issue on the world political agenda. However, the humanity cannot unite in a battle against it, with the states pursuing their own interests in how much they wish to contribute to the global mitigation efforts. Accordingly, international climate politics is undergoing increasing fragmentation, with groups of states having similar interests or characteristics unifying not only their positions in international negotiations, but also their approaches to mitigation and adaptation. We attempt to picture the future of international climate politics by using a simple model for group polarization, thus considering states as members of a large social group which are connected by bonds of different strength. The strength of these bonds increases if countries’ opinions on climate change are close and decreases otherwise. We are also considering two additional parameters: economic power and trade surplus. Economic power affects the speed with which states’ opinions change during their interactions, while trade surplus does not let the total sum of bonds’ strengths significantly increase or decrease. The results of our modelling suggest that after 1000 iterations 3 large groups are likely to be formed with high, intermediate and low levels of ambition to take action on climate change mitigation. Moreover, the arithmetic mean of countries’ opinions decreased from 1st to 1000th iterations.