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Instruments for Climate Policy

Limited versus Unlimited Flexibility

Edited by Johan Albrecht

Instruments for Climate Policy focuses on economic and political aspects related to the recent proposals and the debate on limits in flexibility, and discusses EU and US perspectives on climate policy instruments and strategies. This is followed by chapters on economic efficiency and the use of flexible instruments as well as contributions to the debate on ‘when flexibility’, on the arguments behind the EU ceilings proposal and on voluntary approaches to climate policy. One of the main conclusions reached with respect to proposals for limiting flexibility is the need to evaluate simultaneously their economic, ecological and international political consequences. The authors include both important policymakers and leading academics in the area.
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Chapter 2: Climate policy instruments and strategies: EU and US perspectives

Peter Zapfel and David Gardiner


2. Climate policy instruments and strategies: EU and US perspectives Peter Zapfel and David Gardiner 1. THE EU PERSPECTIVE – PETER ZAPFEL Europe has a rich experience in working with a broad mix of environmental policy instruments ranging from regulatory (command-and-control) measures all the way to various types of incentive-based approaches (such as voluntary/negotiated agreements, and environmental/green taxation). Our intention in climate policy and our strategy is not to ‘reinvent the wheel’, but rather to build our climate policy toolkit on the basis of existing and successful instruments and supplement them – where necessary – with ‘new ways of doing things’. One of the interesting supplements is the use of flexible instruments – as they are called in the Kyoto context – within the European Community. Some Member States will make use of this type of instrument very soon and the European Commission has taken up the challenge by tabling a stakeholder consultation document (a so-called ‘Green Paper’ in Brussels speak) on the issue of ‘Greenhouse gas emissions trading within the European Union’.1 This document, published in March 2000, has triggered an intense debate among many stakeholders and resulted in a number of written responses. After the Sixth Conference of the Parties (CoP6) the European Commission will decide on how to put the issue forward in the context of a European ratification strategy. I now turn to what the European Commission has done and is doing, in terms of policies in implementation and concrete policy proposals, in order to contribute its share – via those...

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