, Volume 41, Supplement 1, pp 12–22

What Have We Learnt from the European Union’s Emissions Trading System?

  • Markus Wråke
  • Dallas Burtraw
  • Åsa Löfgren
  • Lars Zetterberg

DOI: 10.1007/s13280-011-0237-2

Cite this article as:
Wråke, M., Burtraw, D., Löfgren, Å. et al. Ambio (2012) 41: 12. doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0237-2


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).


Emissions tradingCarbon dioxideClimate changeEU ETS

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Wråke
    • 1
  • Dallas Burtraw
    • 2
  • Åsa Löfgren
    • 3
  • Lars Zetterberg
    • 4
  1. 1.International Energy AgencyParisFrance
  2. 2.Resources for the FutureWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.University of GothenburgGöteborgSweden
  4. 4.IVL Swedish Environmental Research InstituteStockholmSweden