Lessons for Theory and Practice
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Michael Faure and Marjan Peeters
Michael Faure and Marjan Peeters 1. THE EU ETS AT THE CORE Emissions trading is probably the topic best suited for a combination of a legal and economic analysis. At this time, we have a fascinating opportunity to review practical applications of the emissions trading instrument. Indeed, after many environmental economists have already for a long time been advocating emissions trading as an efficient system for achieving an internalization of externalities caused by environmental pollution, some interesting large-scale experiments have finally taken place. These occurred first in the US, notably to deal with a range of air pollution problems, and later in Europe through the establishment of an EU-wide greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. Most of the contributions to this book are devoted to Directive 2003/87/EC of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading, commonly referred to as the EU ETS. However, most of the contributions provide a look to the future by discussing the proposal of the European Commission delivered on 23 January 2008 for a major revision of this scheme (COM(2008)16). Emissions trading seems particularly fit for the climate change problem, especially for the greenhouse gases that lack local effects as is the case with carbon dioxide. After some initial experiments or initiatives at the national level, notably in the UK (see the contribution of MacDonald and Makuch in chapter 10), Denmark and The Netherlands, Europe decided to implement its Kyoto obligations via an EU-wide emissions trading scheme, thereby preventing the...
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