Corporate Responses to EU Emissions Trading: Resistance, Innovation or Responsibility?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Corporate Responses to EU Emissions Trading

Resistance, Innovation or Responsibility?, 1st Edition

By Jon Birger Skjærseth, Per Ove Eikeland


322 pages

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The European Union (EU) aims to put Europe on track toward a low-carbon economy. In this striking challenge, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has been singled out as the Union’s key climate policy instrument, ultimately aimed as a model for a global carbon market. The learning effect of the EU ETS could thus be tremendous. This study explores how the EU ETS actually works on the ground, affecting corporate climate strategies. It covers general sector responses as well as systematic comparative studies of companies across the sectors. The latter enables improved understanding of causal effects and the role of interaction between different policy instruments and other factors that impact corporate climate strategies. The study explores a broad set of mechanisms at play potentially linking the EU ETS to company climate strategies. These include how corporate norms of responsibility are affected by the EU ETS and how economic incentives provide opportunities for innovation. The book’s main contribution lies in its systematic examination of corporate responses to the EU ETS from a broad empirical and analytical social science perspective covering companies in all main EU ETS sectors: electric power, oil, cement, steel and pulp and paper.


’With greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes emerging worldwide, this thorough and original analysis of the pioneering scheme of the European Union is certainly timely. By showing how the EU ETS affects the behaviour of the companies it targets, this volume provides useful lessons for climate policy design while adding valuable empirical insights to studies of corporate governance.’ Harro van Asselt, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden ’Getting serious about climate change requires engaging business. This new volume offers the best and most systematic look at how companies have responded to Europe's emission trading scheme - the world's largest and most promising effort to control the emissions that cause global warming. The authors examine all the most important industrial sectors with skill and insight.’ David G. Victor, Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, University of California at San Diego, USA

About the Authors

Jon Birger Skjærseth is a Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute and Per Ove Eikeland is Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway.

About the Series

Global Environmental Governance

Global Environmental Governance
Global Environmental Governance addresses the new generation of twenty-first century environmental problems and the challenges they pose for management and governance at the local, national, and global levels. Centered on the relationships among environmental change, economic forces, and political governance, the series explores the role of international institutions and instruments, national and sub-federal governments, private sector firms, scientists, and civil society, and provides a comprehensive body of progressive analyses on one of the world's most contentious international issues.

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