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EU emission trading: better job second time around?

  • Schleich, Joachim
  • Betz, Regina
  • Rogge, Karoline S.

The EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for CO2-emissions from energy and industry installations reflects a paradigm shift towards market-based instruments for environmental policy in the EU. The centerpieces of the EU ETS are National Allocation Plans (NAPs), which individual Member States (MS) design for each phase. NAPs state the total quantity of allowances available in each period (ET-budget) and determine how MS allocate allowances to individual installations. The NAPs thus govern investments and innovation in energy efficient technologies and the energy sector. In terms of distribution, they predetermine winners and losers. In this paper we analyze and evaluate 25 NAPs submitted to the European Commission (EC) for phase 2 (2008-2012) of the EU ETS. At the macro level, we assess whether the submitted ET-budgets are stringent, and whether they imply a cost-efficient split of the required emission reductions between the EU ETS sectors (energy and industry) and the remaining sectors (transportation, tertiary and households). Comparing the submitted ET-budgets with those already approved by the EC suggests that the EC’s decisions significantly improved the effectiveness and economic efficiency of the EU ETS. But given the high share of Kyoto Mechanisms companies are allowed to use, the EU ETS is unlikely to require substantial emission reductions within the EU. At the micro level, we assess (across countries and phases) the allocation methods for existing and new installations, for closures and for clean technologies. A comparison of the NAPs for the second phase and the first phase (2005-2007) provides insights into the (limited) adaptability and flexibility of the scheme. The findings provide guidance for the future design of the EU ETS and applications to other sectors and regions.

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Paper provided by Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in its series Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" with number S2/2007.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisisi:s22007
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  1. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
  2. Ahman, Markus & Burtraw, Dallas & Kruger, Joseph & Zetterberg, Lars, 2007. "A Ten-Year Rule to guide the allocation of EU emission allowances," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1718-1730, March.
  3. Spulber, Daniel F., 1985. "Effluent regulation and long-run optimality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-116, June.
  4. Rogge, Karoline S. & Schleich, Joachim & Betz, Regina, 2006. "An early assessment of national allocation plans for phase 2 of EU emission trading," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S1/2006, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  5. Jos Sijm & Karsten Neuhoff & Yihsu Chen, 2006. "CO 2 cost pass-through and windfall profits in the power sector," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 49-72, January.
  6. Cramton, Peter & Kerr, Suzi, 2002. "Tradeable carbon permit auctions: How and why to auction not grandfather," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 333-345, March.
  7. Pizer, William & Kruger, Joseph, 2004. "The EU Emissions Trading Directive: Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls," Discussion Papers dp-04-24, Resources For the Future.
  8. Schleich, Joachim & Cremer, Clemens, 2007. "Using benchmarking for the primary allocation of EU allowances - an application to the German power sector," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S6/2007, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
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