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The EU Emissions Trading Directive: Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls

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  • Pizer, William

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Kruger, Joseph

Abstract

The European Union is on the verge of establishing an emissions trading program ten times the size of the Acid Rain trading program in the United States. Its design takes advantage of many lessons from existing experience with trading programs, as well as economic theory, and innovates in important ways. While we view this as an impressive development, concerns about equity, enforcement, and efficiency remain. Specifically, a lack of data and weaker environmental institutions in some EU Member States raises questions about both allowance allocations and compliance and enforcement. Although much attention has focused on whether prices will be “too low” in the first phase of the program, a greater risk is that uncertainty about program elements, technology and behavioral response, and external events could create volatile markets and costly compliance in the second phase. Regardless of outcome, the EU trading system will be influential in future international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-24.

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Date of creation: 16 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-24

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Keywords: European Union; climate change; emissions trading;

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References

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  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2001. "The Effect of Allowance Allocation on the Cost of Carbon Emission Trading," Discussion Papers dp-01-30-, Resources For the Future.
  2. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  3. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2003. "The Paparazzi Take a Look at a Living Legend: The SO2 Cap-and-Trade Program for Power Plants in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-03-15, Resources For the Future.
  4. Cramton, Peter & Kerr, Suzi, 2002. "Tradeable carbon permit auctions: How and why to auction not grandfather," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 333-345, March.
  5. Burtraw, Dallas & Evans, David, 2003. "The Evolution of NOx Control Policy for Coal-Fired Power Plants in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-03-23, Resources For the Future.
  6. Franck Lecocq & Karan Capoor, . "State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2003," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13416, The World Bank.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn, 2001. "Rebating Environmental Policy Revenues: Output-Based Allocations and Tradable Performance Standards," Discussion Papers dp-01-22, Resources For the Future.
  8. Jacoby, Henry D. & Ellerman, A. Denny, 2004. "The safety valve and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 481-491, March.
  9. Tom Tietenberg, 2003. "The Tradable-Permits Approach to Protecting the Commons: Lessons for Climate Change," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 400-419.
  10. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard, 1998. "The Political Economy of Market-Based Environmental Policy: The U.S. Acid Rain Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-83, April.
  11. Bernard, Alain & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John & Vielle, Marc & Viguier, Laurent, 2003. "Russia's Role in the Kyoto Protocol," IDEI Working Papers 237, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Blackman, Allen & Harrington, Winston, 1999. "The Use of Economic Incentives in Developing Countries: Lessons from International Experience with Industrial Air Pollution," Discussion Papers dp-99-39, Resources For the Future.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beat Hintermann, 2011. "Market Power, Permit Allocation and Efficiency in Emission Permit Markets," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(3), pages 327-349, July.
  2. Richard D. Morgenstern, 2004. "Policy Studies on Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Economic Development: Synergies and Challenges," IDB Publications 25278, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Schleich, Joachim & Betz, Regina & Rogge, Karoline S., 2007. "EU emission trading: better job second time around?," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S2/2007, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  4. Stefan Weishaar, 2007. "CO 2 emission allowance allocation mechanisms, allocative efficiency and the environment: a static and dynamic perspective," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 29-70, August.
  5. Jon Skjærseth & Jørgen Wettestad, 2008. "Implementing EU emissions trading: success or failure?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 275-290, September.
  6. Gillenwater, Michael & Breidenich, Clare, 2009. "Internalizing carbon costs in electricity markets: Using certificates in a load-based emissions trading scheme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 290-299, January.
  7. Hilary Sigman, 2010. "Monitoring and Enforcement of Climate Policy," Departmental Working Papers 201006, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Nelson, Per-Kristian, 2004. "Emissions Trading with Telecommuting Credits: Regulatory Background and Institutional Barriers," Discussion Papers dp-04-45, Resources For the Future.
  9. Burtraw, Dallas & Kruger, Joseph & Zetterberg, Lars & Åhman, Markus, 2005. "The Ten-Year Rule: Allocation of Emission Allowances in the EU Emission Trading System," Discussion Papers dp-05-30, Resources For the Future.
  10. Beat Hintermann, 2009. "Allowance Price Drivers in the First Phase of the EU ETS," CEPE Working paper series 09-63, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  11. Margaret Walls & Peter Nelson & Elena Safirova, 2005. "Telecommuting and environmental policy - lessons from the Ecommute program," ERSA conference papers ersa05p801, European Regional Science Association.
  12. Michael Pollan, 2005. "Opportunities for GHG Mitigation in Latin America: Carbon Finance and the Clean Development Mechanism," IDB Publications 25198, Inter-American Development Bank.
  13. Rogge, Karoline S. & Schleich, Joachim & Betz, Regina, 2006. "An early assessment of national allocation plans for phase 2 of EU emission trading," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S1/2006, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).

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