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Ambio. 2012;41 Suppl 1:12-22. doi: 10.1007/s13280-011-0237-2.

What have we learnt from the European Union's Emissions Trading System?

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  • 1International Energy Agency, Paris, France.


The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) demonstrated the ability to design and launch a large-scale trading system in a short period of time. The path from initial reticence about emissions trading to implementation of the world's largest program is an important history. Three issues play a large role in the evaluation of the program to date and its on-going development: allocation plans, cost uncertainty, and leakage of emissions to abroad. Decisions in Phase I and II (2005-2012) were responsive to questions of political feasibility and implementation, but some of these decisions including allocation in particular will be substantially revised in Phase III (2013-2020).

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