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Michael C. LaBelle

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Energy Cultures

Technology, Justice, and Geopolitics in Eastern Europe

Michael C. LaBelle

This thought-provoking book explores the concept of energy cultures as a means of understanding social and political relations and how energy injustices are created. Using Eastern Europe as an example, it examines the radical transition occurring as the region leaves behind the legacy of the Soviet Union, and the effects of the resulting power struggle between the energy cultures of Russia and the European Union.
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Michael C. LaBelle

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Michael C. LaBelle

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The Character of Petroleum Licences

A Legal Culture Analysis

Edited by Tina Soliman Hunter, Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde and Ernst Nordtveit

This innovative book explores the legal character of petroleum licences, a key vehicle governing the relationship between oil companies and their host states. Examining the issue through the lens of legal culture, it illustrates why some jurisdictions exert strong state control and others only minimal.
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Carbon leakage and industry assistance

The Subsidisation of Heavy Polluters under Emissions Trading Schemes

Elena de Lemos Pinto Aydos

Chapter 2 discusses the theory of carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns in relation to emissions-intensive and trade-exposed sectors participating in ETSs. Two measures are often considered as alternatives to avoid competitiveness issues and carbon leakage from the implementation of ETSs, that is, border carbon adjustments (BCA) and the free of cost allocation of permits. While BCAs are not very popular, it is possible that, due to the adoption of free allocation of permits, carbon-pricing schemes have been failing to implement the polluter pays principle. Keywords: emissions trading – carbon leakage – free allocation – polluter pays principle

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Contextualising the issue

The Subsidisation of Heavy Polluters under Emissions Trading Schemes

Elena de Lemos Pinto Aydos

Chapter 1 introduces the book and the book chapters. It discusses the exponential increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the past decades and outlines the most recent global emissions trends. The chapter then introduces the Paris Agreement and the key domestic climate change policies that are being adopted by countries in order to meet their intended nationally determined contribution (INDCs). Carbon pricing has been increasingly adopted by countries aiming to mitigate GHG emissions. However, even now, many heavy polluters participating in emissions trading schemes (ETSs) are not paying the full price of carbon. Keywords: climate change – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – Paris Agreement – intended nationally determined contribution (INDCs) – carbon taxes – emissions trading schemes (ETSs)

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Free allocation and linking emissions trading schemes: the case for harmonisation

The Subsidisation of Heavy Polluters under Emissions Trading Schemes

Elena de Lemos Pinto Aydos

Chapter 5 examines aspects of the design of the free-allocation methods that might lead to competitiveness distortions. It reviews the data from the first and second trading periods of the EU ETS, when the different Member States had their own separate National Allocation Plans (NAPs). In the EU ETS context, the different allocation rules generated concerns over the competitiveness of industries subject to the different NAPs. By analogy, key design elements in the legal framework of the EU ETS and the AUS CPM would be problematic from a trade perspective. For example, the uneven benchmarks and output-based allocation versus the historical emissions data, which could result in a significant variation of the allocation levels, with the potential to impact trade and distort competition between liable installations under the independent ETSs. Keywords: emissions trading – National Allocation Plans (NAPs) – allocation – trade – competition – EU ETS – industry sectors

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The free allocation of permits and the WTO discipline of subsidies

The Subsidisation of Heavy Polluters under Emissions Trading Schemes

Elena de Lemos Pinto Aydos

The literature has extensively analysed the legal implications of the free allocation system from the perspective of the World Trade Organization (WTO) laws on subsidies. However, the absence of an interdisciplinary approach resulted in a lack of detailed understanding of the functioning of the ETSs, the free allocation methodology and the economic aspects of distributing permits free of cost. Chapter 6 closes the gap between the doctrinal analysis of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), the legal frameworks of these schemes in practice and the economic research data. Chapter 6 concludes that the free allocation of permits is a subsidy in accordance with the definition in the SCM Agreement and analyses whether it could be a prohibited or actionable subsidy, according to the different thresholds for allocation and the levels of assistance set by each scheme. In relation to the EU ETS sole emissions-intensity threshold, it is arguably perpetuating a targeted subsidisation of a small number of enterprises from the cement sector, which had already been favoured by the decentralised NAPs during the first and second trading periods. As such, it is an actionable subsidy and may be challenged if it causes adverse effects on other WTO Members. The chapter recommends the removal of the sole emissions-intensity factor from the EU ETS quantitative assessment. The recent proposal for a Directive to amend the EU ETS is partially in line with this recommendation. Keywords: World Trade Organization (WTO) – subsidies – free allocation – emissions trading – Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) – actionable subsidy – prohibited subsidy – cement – EU ETS

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Paying the Carbon Price

The Subsidisation of Heavy Polluters under Emissions Trading Schemes

Elena de Lemos Pinto Aydos

Paying the Carbon Price analyses the practice of freely allocating permits in Emissions Trading Schemes (ETSs) and demonstrates how many heavy polluters participating in ETSs are not yet paying the full price of carbon. This innovative book provides a framework to assist policymakers in the design of transitional assistance measures that are both legally robust and will support the effectiveness of the ETSs whilst limiting negative impacts on international trade.