Linking the European Union Emissions Trading System : Political Drivers and Barriers book cover
1st Edition

Linking the European Union Emissions Trading System
Political Drivers and Barriers

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ISBN 9780367429690
January 25, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
152 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book focuses on the linking of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) with other independent regional ETS.

While rich practical and academic research has evolved on the economic and technical side of ETS linking, political drivers and barriers have so far been underrepresented in this debate. Filling this lacuna and based on international relations theory, existing research and qualitative fieldwork, this book introduces the range of political conditions that influence linking, such as political leadership and stakeholder activity. Specifically, it analyses which of these aspects have played a role in three different linking activities of the EU: 1. a failed linking attempt: EU ETS – California Cap-and-Trade Program; 2. a successful linking treaty: EU ETS – Switzerland Emissions Trading System; and 3. an agreed-upon but not realized link: EU ETS – Australia Carbon Pricing Mechanism. Through an interrogation of these examples, Unger concludes that it is not only the technical challenges or the overall economic benefit, but rather domestic interests, structural aspects and external international political developments that have jointly dominated linking activities, especially those the EU takes part in.

This book will be of great interest to scholars and policymakers working in climate policy and EU environmental politics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Fundamentals of Linking

3. EU Climate Policy and the Design and Development of the EU Emissions Trading System: Setting the Scene

4. The EU Emissions Trading System and the California Cap-and-Trade Program: A Failed Linking Attempt:

5. A Successful Linking Process between the EU Emissions Trading System and the Switzerland Emissions Trading System

6. The EU Emissions Trading System and the Australia Carbon Pricing Mechanism: An Agreed-Upon, but Unrealized Link

7. Linking is Dominated by Domestic Political Interests, Domestic Structures and International Developments

8. Linking in the Climate Policy Debate and Future Prospects

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Charlotte Unger is a Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany. She acquired here PhD in political sciences from the Technical University of Munich and has previously worked for various research institutions and think tanks, such as the Technical University Berlin, Environmental Action Germany, and the International Carbon Action Partnership.


"Linking of carbon markets has been lauded in theory for a long time, in order to improve liquidity and bring down compliance costs further. But actual linking progress has been rather meagre. This book provides an excellent overview and analysis of the EU’s linking history and helps us understand better the gap between theory and practice in this field." -- Jørgen Wettestad, Research Professor Fridtjof Nansen Insitute, Norway