A new status quo? The psychological impact of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Arden Rowell, Josephine Van Zeben

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This brief opinion piece draws upon behavioural and cognitive research to argue that the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global temperature change below 2 degrees Celsius sets a psychologically powerful baseline against which future policy failures can be measured. When international law successfully triggers perception of a baseline, it can lead decisionmakers to perceive deviations from that baseline as "losses." This implicates loss aversion, which provides an additional motivation to achieve international norms. The psychological impacts of this new status quo may end up being more powerful and more durable than either the unusual structure of the document or the domestic implementation questions that have already attracted so much scholarly debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Risk Regulation
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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