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The EU Emissions Trading Directive: Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls

  • Pizer, William

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Kruger, Joseph

The European Union is on the verge of establishing an emissions trading program ten times the size of the Acid Rain trading program in the United States. Its design takes advantage of many lessons from existing experience with trading programs, as well as economic theory, and innovates in important ways. While we view this as an impressive development, concerns about equity, enforcement, and efficiency remain. Specifically, a lack of data and weaker environmental institutions in some EU Member States raises questions about both allowance allocations and compliance and enforcement. Although much attention has focused on whether prices will be “too low” in the first phase of the program, a greater risk is that uncertainty about program elements, technology and behavioral response, and external events could create volatile markets and costly compliance in the second phase. Regardless of outcome, the EU trading system will be influential in future international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-24.

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Date of creation: 16 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-24
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  1. Franck Lecocq & Karan Capoor, . "State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2003," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13416, The World Bank.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2001. "The Effect of Allowance Allocation on the Cost of Carbon Emission Trading," Discussion Papers dp-01-30-, Resources For the Future.
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  4. Burtraw, Dallas & Evans, David, 2003. "The Evolution of NOx Control Policy for Coal-Fired Power Plants in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-03-23, Resources For the Future.
  5. Fischer, Carolyn, 2001. "Rebating Environmental Policy Revenues: Output-Based Allocations and Tradable Performance Standards," Discussion Papers dp-01-22, Resources For the Future.
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  7. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard, 1998. "The Political Economy of Market-Based Environmental Policy: The U.S. Acid Rain Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-83, April.
  8. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Regulating stock externalities under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 416-432, March.
  9. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2003. "The Paparazzi Take a Look at a Living Legend: The SO2 Cap-and-Trade Program for Power Plants in the United States," Discussion Papers dp-03-15, Resources For the Future.
  10. J. David Tàbara, 2003. "Spain: words that succeed and climate policies that fail," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 19-30, March.
  11. Blackman, Allen & Harrington, Winston, 1999. "The Use of Economic Incentives in Developing Countries: Lessons from International Experience with Industrial Air Pollution," Discussion Papers dp-99-39, Resources For the Future.
  12. Jacoby, Henry D. & Ellerman, A. Denny, 2004. "The safety valve and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 481-491, March.
  13. Tom Tietenberg, 2003. "The Tradable-Permits Approach to Protecting the Commons: Lessons for Climate Change," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 400-419.
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