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The Ten-Year Rule: Allocation of Emission Allowances in the EU Emission Trading System

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  • Burtraw, Dallas

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Kruger, Joseph
  • Zetterberg, Lars
  • Åhman, Markus

Abstract

In its guidance on National Allocation Plans (NAPs), the European Commission has discouraged Member States from adopting allocation methodologies that would provide incentives to firms affecting their compliance behavior. The purpose is to promote economic efficiency and to prevent strategic behavior that deviates from individual and collective cost-minimization. For example, some methodologies would reward one type of compliance investment over another. To discourage such actions, the EU Emission Trading System guidelines prohibit ex post redistribution of emission allowances within an allocation period based on behavior in that period. Similarly, the Commission has indicated that decisions about the initial distribution of allowances in the second phase (2008-2012) must depend on measures prior to 2005 so as not to give companies an incentive to adjust their behavior to receive a larger allowance allocation. However, two other aspects of the NAPs—the treatment of closures and new entrants—may also affect firm behavior. An undercurrent in these guidelines is the question of whether Member States should allow incumbent emitters to hold infinitely lived, once-and-for-all property rights to a share of the emission allowances in the future. This paper develops an approach for balancing efficiency considerations with perceived issues of fairness. We propose a ten-year rule to guide policy regarding closure of existing sources and the status of new sources and to guide the initial distribution of emission allowances in general. A ten-year rule would address issues of fairness and capture an important part of the potential gains that could be achieved through an efficient initial distribution of allowances.

Suggested Citation

  • Burtraw, Dallas & Kruger, Joseph & Zetterberg, Lars & Åhman, Markus, 2005. "The Ten-Year Rule: Allocation of Emission Allowances in the EU Emission Trading System," Discussion Papers dp-05-30, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dissemin, uploaded via & Demailly, Damien & Quirion, Philippe, 2018. "European Emission Trading Scheme and competitiveness: A case study on the iron and steel industry," OSF Preprints w9cq5, Center for Open Science.
    2. Dietrich, Lars & Bode, Sven, 2005. "CO2-Abscheidung und Ablagerung (CAA): Ordnungsrechtliche Aspekte und okonomische Implikationen im Rahmen des EU - Emissionshandels," Discussion Paper Series 26203, Hamburg Institute of International Economics.
    3. Karsten Neuhoff & Kim Keats Martinez & Misato Sato, 2006. "Allocation, incentives and distortions: the impact of EU ETS emissions allowance allocations to the electricity sector," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 73-91, January.
    4. Andrew Keeler, 2007. "State greenhouse gas reduction policies: a move in the right direction?," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(4), pages 353-365, December.
    5. Demailly, Damien & Quirion, Philippe, 2008. "Changing the Allocation Rules in the EU ETS: Impact on Competitiveness and Economic Efficiency," Climate Change Modelling and Policy Working Papers 46623, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Sandoff, Anders & Schaad, Gabriela, 2009. "Does EU ETS lead to emission reductions through trade? The case of the Swedish emissions trading sector participants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3967-3977, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    emission trading; allowance allocations; closures; new entrants; tradable permits; air pollution; cost-effectiveness; greenhouse gases; climate change; global warming; carbon dioxide;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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