Intra-union flexibility of non-ETS emission reduction obligations in the European Union

Tol, Richard S J (2009) Intra-union flexibility of non-ETS emission reduction obligations in the European Union. Energy Policy, 37 (5). pp. 1745-1752. ISSN 0301-4215

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The EU proposal on greenhouse gas emission reduction has 28 targets for 2020: an EU-wide one for CO2 emissions covered by the European Trading System (ETS), and one target for non-ETS emissions per Member State. Implementation is more expensive than needed. I consider three alternative proposals to reduce costs. In the Irish proposal, Member States can purchase ETS permits to offset excess non-ETS emissions. In the Polish proposal, Member States can sell excess non-ETS emissions in the ETS. In the Swedish proposal, Member States can trade their non-ETS allocations. I compare these alternatives to the default policy (no flexibility outside the ETS) and the cost-effective solution (full flexibility). I calibrate a simple model to the results of the EU impact assessment, which did not disclose all details and made odd assumptions. The non-ETS allocation exceeds the projected emissions for three Member States. The alternative flexibility mechanisms would be used to only a limited extent, but would cut the costs of meeting the target. The Swedish and Polish proposals come closest to the cost-effective solution because of the hot air. The Irish proposal performs best if there are negative surprises in either abatement costs or emissions. The Swedish proposal will become policy.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE300 Environmental management
H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
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Depositing User: Richard Tol
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2012 08:23
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2012 08:23
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