IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Europäischer Emissionshandel: durch Backloading Zeit für Strukturreform gewinnen

Listed author(s):
  • Karsten Neuhoff
  • Anne Schopp
Registered author(s):

    The aim of the European Emissions Trading Scheme is to reduce environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize investment in low-emission technologies. However, in recent years, a large surplus of emission allowances has accumulated, primarily as a result of an unexpected reduction in emissions due to the economic crisis and a major influx of carbon credits from abroad. According to DIW Berlin estimates, by 2015, the surplus could reach 2.6 billion. An analysis conducted by DIW Berlin shows that part of the surplus is absorbed by the hedging demand from power generators. As the surplus exceeds this hedging demand, additional allowances need to be acquired as speculative investment. This requires higher rates of return and implies that expected future carbon prices are highly discounted. In the last two years, the price of allowances has drastically declined, thus reducing its relevance for the investment choices of industry and the power sector. In order for the Emissions Trading Scheme to achieve its intended incentive effect, there must be a sustainable reduction in the allowance surplus. Delaying the auctioning of emissions allowances as proposed by the European Commission (backloading) could temporarily reduce the remaining surplus within the current trading period. This provides time for the structural reforms that are needed to ensure that emissions allowances are sufficiently scarce in the longer term and to enable the Emissions Trading Scheme to fulfill its intended role. Der europäische Emissionshandel soll den Ausstoß klimaschädlicher Treibausgase begrenzen und Anreize für Investitionen in emissionsarme Technologien geben. In den letzten Jahren hat sich jedoch ein großer Überschuss an Emissionszertifikaten angesammelt. Gründe hierfür sind vor allem unerwartete Emissionsminderungen aufgrund der Wirtschaftskrise und ein starker Zustrom an internationalen Emissionsgutschriften. Nach Schätzungen des DIW Berlin könnte der kumulierte Überschuss bis 2015 auf 2,6 Milliarden Tonnen ansteigen. Die Zertifikatspreise sind in den letzten beiden Jahren stark gefallen. Damit der Emissionshandel seine Lenkungswirkung erfüllen kann, muss der Zertifikatsüberschuss dauerhaft abgebaut werden. Entsprechende Reformen auf europäischer Ebene erfordern jedoch eine längere Vorlaufzeit. Zusätzlich ist daher die von der EU-Kommission vorgeschlagene Verschiebung von Zertifikatsversteigerungen notwendig (Backloading). Eine Analyse des DIW Berlin zeigt, dass ein Teil des Überschusses durch die Hedging-Nachfrage von Stromerzeugern absorbiert werden kann. Der verbleibende Überschuss könnte durch Backloading innerhalb der laufenden Handelsperiode reduziert werden. Zugleich wurde ein Konsultationsprozess für eine strukturelle Reform des Emissionshandels eingeleitet. Er soll sicherstellen, dass längerfristig genügend Knappheit im Emissionshandel erreicht wird. Durch diese Maßnahmen kann der EU-Emissionshandel seiner Rolle wieder gerecht werden. Andernfalls steht die Glaubwürdigkeit der europäischen Klimapolitik auf dem Spiel. Bei der anstehenden Abstimmung im Europäischen Rat spielt Deutschland eine entscheidende Rolle.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal DIW Wochenbericht.

    Volume (Year): 80 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 11 ()
    Pages: 3-11

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:80-11-1
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin

    Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
    Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:80-11-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.