Emissions trading in Europe: Effective tool or flight of fancy?

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The NAPs must be compatible with the climate goals and emissions reduction targets. Within the first period there will be no concrete sanction mechanism if countries fail to achieve their target, as is planned for later periods. A stringent allocation of allowances would prevent too high a burden on private households and the transport sector. In addition, it would also increase the incentive for other flexible mechanisms such as Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and (later on) Joint Implementation (Jl). Conversely, some important aspects of the trading system, such as the treatment of newcomers or how to react to the dynamics of the market, are not regulated at the European level. This provides a large scope for strategic action and creates uncertainties. In Germany as well as in many other countries, negotiations between politicians and industrial lobbyists has led to a less effective emissions trading system. It is questionable whether there will be significant emission trading at all. The climate goal cannot be reached if industries get the emissions allowances that they need to continue business as usual. In the future, it would be desirable to harmonise the specific rules of the initial allocation plan among all European countries in order to avoid strategic behaviour and a weakening of the entire trading system.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)119-121
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2004
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Economics - Clean Development Mechanism, Abatement Cost, Emission Trading, Trading System, Emission Allowance