Ziesing, Hans-Joachim
February 2004
Economic Bulletin;Feb2004, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p51
Academic Journal
The article highlights the need for the European Union to reduce its emissions of six greenhouse gases from the level in the reference year 1990 between 2008 and 2012 as stipulated under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The European Union directive on greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, which came into force last October 2003, is intended to help achieve this target;emissions trading should enable member states and companies to reduce emissions wherever this is least costly. The instrument of emissions trading involves a precise definition of exactly how much carbon dioxide emission is permissible for each plant involved. The operators of the plants are then free to choose how they will fulfill the requirement. They will decide on whichever is the least costly alternative. The initial reaction from companies in industry and the energy sector and their associations has been vehement opposition to the allocation plan. Emissions trading offers the chance of achieving the aim at the most favourable cost. One often has the impression that those who reject emissions trading are not really opposed to the instrument itself, but are calling the climate protection objectives as a whole in question.


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