Most noncooperative game theoretic models of international environmental agreements (IEAs) draw a pessimistic picture of the prospective of successful cooperation. In this paper, we consider the possibility that countries agree on modest instead of ambitious abatement targets. It is shown that this can be an explanation for higher participation and more successful treaties. Thus, modesty may well pay, though the first-best optimum cannot be achieved. It is also demonstrated that our model extension makes it easier to relate the stylized model to actual negotiations.