A research project that aims to predict the outcomes of next week's UN climate change conference in Copenhagen is being undertaken by an academic from UNSW's Australian School of Business.
The project, led by Dr Regina Betz, is being run in association with UNSW's Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) and is being sponsored by Baker & McKenzie.
The purpose of the project is to aggregate all information necessary to reliably forecast the outcome of the conference. It will use a "Copenhagen Prediction Market" (COPPM), which involves trading "shares" of various future events and the market price of the shares will provide an indication of the likelihood of the events occurring. Possible outcomes could cover, for example, the long-term stabilisation goal and reduction targets for various countries.
During the conference, the COPPM will trace and display the expectations of thousands of participants and will provide a forecast as to where negotiations may lead.
Baker & McKenzie climate change partner Paul Curnow said that overlaying a trading platform onto international negotiation was a novel concept which tapped into the way corporations and investors structured their thinking.
"We think that not only is this an interesting and novel concept for monitoring negotiations of considerable global importance, but also ... it provides an indication to our clients, the environmental markets and the global community of the thoughts of those closest to the outcome of the negotiations," he said.
Participants are currently being recruited to take part in the program. No real money is used for trading - "experimental dollars" are used instead - and there will be a prize for the three participants that accumulate the largest final portfolio value in each market. The COPPM markets will open shortly before the conference starts. To register go to www.coppm.org.
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