Trading schemes, risks, and costs: the cases of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the Renewables Obligation

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The appropriateness and importance of market-based environmental governance systems vary according to different cases. Although so-called ‘market trading’ regimes can be useful in some circumstances, a false belief in the inevitability of their cost-effectiveness compared with so-called ‘command and control’ systems has allowed policy distortions to occur. So-called ‘command and control’ policies are being underemphasised, despite the fact that they may achieve reductions in carbon emissions that are cheaper than those likely to be achieved through emissions (or ‘certificate’) trading regimes. I address theoretical arguments which I then place in context with analysis of some features of the British Renewables Obligation and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-953
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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