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The Making of the 2003 EU Emissions Trading Directive: An Ultra-Quick Process due to Entrepreneurial Proficiency?


  • Jørgen Wettestad


The EU emissions trading scheme has been characterized as one of the most farreaching and radical environmental policies for many years, and "the new grand policy experiment." Given the EU's earlier resistance to this market-based instrument with no international track record and with US origins, the EU decision-making process, which took less than two years, can be characterized as a puzzlingly ultra-quick political "pregnancy." In order to understand this, it is necessary to take three explanatory perspectives-and the interaction between them-into account. First, the emissions trading issue was more mature within the EU system than immediately apparent, given that emissions projections were worrying and no effective common climate policies had been adopted. Second, the Commission acted as a strong and clever policy entrepreneur, dealing with other basically positive EU bodies. Third, when the US pulled out of the Kyoto process in March 2001, it provided a window of opportunity for the EU to take the reins of global policy leadership. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Jørgen Wettestad, 2005. "The Making of the 2003 EU Emissions Trading Directive: An Ultra-Quick Process due to Entrepreneurial Proficiency?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:5:y:2005:i:1:p:1-23

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    Cited by:

    1. Spash, Clive L. & Theine, Hendrik, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Discussion Papers 5206, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
      • Clive L. Spash & Hendrik Theine, 2016. "Voluntary Individual Carbon Trading," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2016_04, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. Mélodie Cartel & Eva Boxenbaum & Franck Aggeri & Jean-Yves Caneill, 2017. "Policy making as collective bricolage: the role of the electricity sector in the making of the European carbon market," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-01615460, HAL.
    3. Braun, Marcel, 2009. "The evolution of emissions trading in the European Union - The role of policy networks, knowledge and policy entrepreneurs," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 469-487, April.
    4. Mélodie Cartel & Franck Aggeri & Marine Agogué, 2012. "Enabling Performativity In 'Skunk Labs': The Untold Story Of Carbon Markets Design," Post-Print hal-01089489, HAL.
    5. Braun, Marcel & Santarius, Tilman, 2008. "Climate politics in the multi-level governance system: emissions trading and institutional changes in environmental policy-making," Wuppertal Papers 172, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.
    6. Mélodie Cartel & Eva Boxenbaum & Franck Aggeri, 2014. "Experimentation And Bricolage On Institutions: Understanding The Selection Of New Arrangements," Post-Print hal-01089472, HAL.
    7. Mélodie Cartel & Eva Boxenbaum & Franck Aggeri, 2014. "Policy making as bricolage: the role of platforms in institutional innovation," Post-Print hal-01089462, HAL.
    8. MacKenzie, Donald, 2009. "Making things the same: Gases, emission rights and the politics of carbon markets," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 440-455, April.
    9. Maxian Rusche, Tim, 2010. "The European climate change program: An evaluation of stakeholder involvement and policy achievements," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6349-6359, October.
    10. repec:tpr:glenvp:v:17:y:2017:i:2:p:84-104 is not listed on IDEAS

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