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climate, climate change, tragedy of the commons, Paris Agreement


Sustainable use of common-pool resources is extremely tricky to maintain. Indeed, the failure of the Kyoto Protocol is a stark testament to this challenge. This short discussion offers a potential solution to this crisis of coordination. This Article proposes a mechanism to mitigate the impact of the tragedy of the commons and help ensure that the world’s nations live up to their commitments under the Paris Agreement. The challenge to international cooperation that the tragedy of the commons creates is pernicious. The question of how to tackle the tragedy of the commons—and I say this without a trace of exaggeration—is arguably the most pressing problem we face as a species. We need a stable framework for collective action now. The Paris Agreement offers our best hope yet for rallying international cooperation. Yet a cloud of cynicism already surrounds the agreement. After the collapse of Kyoto, a failure of the Paris Agreement could fatally hobble global environmental governance.