A Glimmer of Hope: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme
54 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2010 Last revised: 12 Jan 2010
Date Written: December 8, 2009
Chapter 1 of my book SELLING HOT AIR: EMISSIONS TRADING AND OFFSETS (forthcoming CUP 2011) describes the theory and practice of emissions trading and offsets. Chapter 2 then examines and exposes the flaws in the Kyoto Protocol's comprehensive trading and offset systems. The present chapter (Chapter 3), examines the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and finds that its more careful and limited use of emissions trading and offsets is a significant improvement over the Kyoto Protocol's comprehensive system mainly because the EU paid due attention to monitoring and other administrative costs associated with emissions trading and offsets. The chapter concludes that the EU ETS provides a template that the US should follow in its domestic policy, so that emissions trading systems in the US and EU might be easily linked, thereby creating an incipient global trading regime to supplant the more grandiose but unworkable Kyoto system. Subsequent chapters of the book will describe and explain why the EU model is unlikely to be followed in US domestic policy or in post-Kyoto international policy.
Keywords: Climate change, Kyoto Protocol, European Union, Emissions trading, Emissions offsets
JEL Classification: K32, K23, L50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation