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Fighting windmills? EU industrial interests and global climate negotiations

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Author Info

  • Urs Steiner Brandt

    ()
    (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)

  • Gert Tinggaard Svendsen

    ()
    (Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus)

Abstract

Why has the EU been so eager to continue the climate negotiations? Can it be solely attributed to the EU feeling morally obliged to be the main initiator of continued progress on the climate change negotiations, or can industrial inter-ests in the EU, at least partly, explain the behaviour of the EU? We suggest that the EU has a rational economic interest in forcing the technological develop-ment of renewable energy sources to get a first-mover advantage, which will only pay if a sufficient number of countries implement sufficiently stringent GHG reductions. The Kyoto Protocol, which imposes binding reductions on 38 OECD countries, implies that, as a first-mover, the EU will be to sell the neces-sary new renewable technologies, most prominently wind mills, to other coun-tries, when they ratify and implement the Kyoto target levels. In the latest EU proposal made in Johannesburg, the EU pushed for setting a target of 15% of all energy to come from sources such as windmills, solar panels and waves by 2015. Such a target would further the EU’s interests globally, and could ex-plain, in economic terms, why the EU eagerly promotes GHG trade at a global level whereas the US has left the Kyoto agreement to save the import costs of buying the EU’s renewable systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics in its series Working Papers with number 37/03.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sdk:wpaper:37

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Related research

Keywords: First mover advantages; Wind mill industry; greenhouse gases; Kyoto Protocol; EU;

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References

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  1. Urs Steiner Brandt & Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, 2001. "Hot air in Kyoto, cold air in The Hague," Working Papers 22/01, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  2. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2001. "An assessment of the EU proposal for ceilings on the use of Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 53-69, April.
  3. William D. Nordhaus & Joseph G. Boyer, 1998. "Requiem for Kyoto: An Economic Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1201, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Barrett, Scott, 1997. "The strategy of trade sanctions in international environmental agreements," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 345-361, November.
  5. Jørgen Drud Hansen & Camilla Jensen & Erik Strøjer Madsen, 2002. "The Establishment of the Danish Windmill Industry - Was it Worthwhile?," CIE Discussion Papers 2002-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  6. Madsen, Erik Strøjer & Jensen, Camilla & Hansen, Jørgen Drud, 2002. "Scale in Technology and Learning-by-Doing in the Windmill Industry," Working Papers 02-2, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  7. Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
  8. Brandt, Urs Steiner, 2004. "Unilateral actions, the case of international environmental problems," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 373-391, December.
  9. Brandt, Urs Steiner & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2002. "Hot air in Kyoto, cold air in The Hague--the failure of global climate negotiations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(13), pages 1191-1199, October.
  10. Barrett, Scott, 1998. "Political Economy of the Kyoto Protocol," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 20-39, Winter.
  11. Hoel, Michael, 1991. "Global environmental problems: The effects of unilateral actions taken by one country," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 55-70, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Naude, Wim, 2011. "Climate Change and Industrial Policy," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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