Climate policies for road transport revisited (II): Closing the policy gap with cap-and-trade
Current policies in the road transport sector fail to deliver consistent and efficient incentives for greenhouse gas abatement (see companion article by Creutzig et al., in press). Market-based instruments such as cap-and-trade systems close this policy gap and complement traditional policies that are required where specific market failures arise. Even in presence of strong existing non-market policies, cap-and-trade delivers additional abatement and efficiency by incentivizing demand side abatement options. This paper analyzes generic design options and economic impacts of including the European road transport sector into the EU ETS. Suitable points of regulation are up- and midstream in the fuel chain to ensure effectiveness (cover all emissions and avoid double-counting), efficiency (incentivize all abatement options) and low transaction costs. Based on year 2020 marginal abatement cost curves from different models and current EU climate policy objectives we show that in contrast to conventional wisdom, road transport inclusion would not change the EU ETS allowance price. Hence, industrial carbon leakage induced by adding road transport to the EU ETS may be less important than previously estimated.
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