IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Interactions between the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the UK Renewables Obligation and Energy Efficiency Commitment


  • Steve Sorrell

    (SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 9RF, UK)


The recent agreement by European environment ministers on the ground rules for an EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) represents a landmark in the evolution of EU climate policy. But this scheme will be introduced into a crowded ‘policy space’ within each Member State in which complex interactions between the EU ETS and existing instruments appear unavoidable. This paper explores one aspect of the problems created by the EU ETS for the UK – namely the potential interactions with the UK Renewables Obligation and the UK Energy Efficiency Commitment. Both these instruments have objectives which go beyond the least-cost abatement of carbon emissions and both utilise trading arrangements in which the trading commodity is denominated in MWh rather than tonnes of carbon. The paper explores the potential interactions between the EU ETS and the UK instruments by comparing in turn their scope, timing, objectives and operation. The coexistence of the EU ETS with the RO and EEC is shown to raise three important issues, namely target setting and double counting, double regulation of electricity and the fungibility of trading commodities. The paper concludes that the coexistence of the RO and EEC with the EU ETS is both possible and justifiable, but more attention should be paid to the non-CO 2 objectives of each instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve Sorrell, 2003. "Interactions between the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the UK Renewables Obligation and Energy Efficiency Commitment," Energy & Environment, , vol. 14(5), pages 677-703, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:engenv:v:14:y:2003:i:5:p:677-703

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mengfei Jiang & Xi Liang & David Reiner & Boqiang Lin & Maosheng Duan, 2018. "Stakeholder Views on Interactions between Low-carbon Policies and Carbon Markets in China: Lessons from the Guangdong ETS," Working Papers EPRG 1805, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    2. Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less Than the Sum of Its Parts?," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 4(1), pages 51-92, June.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:268-280 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:engenv:v:14:y:2003:i:5:p:677-703. 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.