Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law
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Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law

Edited by Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins

Governments around the world have been trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades. This detailed Handbook considers the spectrum of legal and market-based instruments as well as strategies and policies adopted around the world and suggests more effective, comprehensive and responsive ways of managing climate change mitigation.
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Chapter 21: The EU emissions trading system: frontrunner in trouble

Jorgen Wettestad


The EU’s emissions trading system is a frontrunner in trouble. Despite the substantial reform of the system in 2008, subsequent problems of allowance surplus and a low carbon price have spurred new efforts to reform the system for the 2013–20 phase. But these efforts have met resistance both among industry, member states and in the European Parliament. The financial crisis and slow international policy progress have narrowed the window of opportunity that was open in 2008. An economic upswing, a new Commission and Parliament, and new global negotiations in 2015 could open that window again. But even without short-term reform the linear reduction factor will gradually tighten the system and lead to a higher carbon price.

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