Emission trading: Participation enforcement determines the need for compliance enforcement
We identify and explain significant differences between the compliance enforcement systems of three cap-and-trade programmes: the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS), the US SO2 emission trading programme and the Kyoto Protocol. Because EU-ETS's compliance enforcement system is somewhat less potent than that of US S02, but vastly more potent than Kyoto's, it might be tempting to predict that EU-ETS will (I) not quite achieve the S02 programme's near-perfect compliance rates, yet (2) achieve significantly better compliance rates than Kyoto. However, we offer a novel theoretical framework suggesting that how compliance enforcement affects compliance will depend on how the emission trading programme addresses participation. We conclude that while (I) will likely prove correct, (2) will not; Kyoto may even outperform EU-ETS compliance-wise because whereas EU-ETS (and US S02) specify mandatory participation, most Kyoto member countries participate voluntarily.
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