Fairness aspects of linking the European emissions trading scheme under a long-term stabilization scenario for CO2 concentration

  • J. OnigkeitEmail author
  • N. Anger
  • B. Brouns
Original Article


Climate equity is a crucial but difficult element in negotiations on a post-2012 climate regime. With respect to the trading of greenhouse gas emissions the equity aspect is considered in the Kyoto Protocol which demands that emissions trading should be supplemental to domestic abatement efforts. The question arises whether a linking of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to non-EU emission trading schemes or the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) could have an impact on principles of climate justice and thus potentially affect ongoing negotiations. In this study, we present the results of a three step analysis: In a first step, it estimates mid-term greenhouse gas emission entitlements for Annex B and Non-Annex B countries for the year 2020 which keep within reach a stabilization of the CO2 concentration at 450 ppmv in the long-term. In the second step, the resulting emission entitlements are used as an input to an economic partial-equilibrium model in order to assess the shift of abatement efforts under different scenarios of linking the EU ETS. In a third step, we analyze the outcome of the economic model with respect to the future trend of European per capita emissions under the current EU ETS relative to different scenarios of linking the EU ETS. The model results indicate that European per capita emissions have to be reduced to a considerably smaller extent if a linking of the EU ETS is accompanied by an optimal design of the National Allocation Plans and if low-cost CO2 permits became available via the CDM to a large extent.


Emissions trading EU ETS Post-2012 reduction targets Burden sharing 



We thank the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the funding of this study and D. Van Vuuren for providing the IMAGE B2 emissions scenarios on a country basis. We are additionally grateful for the useful comments of our partners in the JET-SET project, the detailed comments of two reviewers and the participants of the “International Conference on Linking Schemes: Potential Impacts of Linking the European Union Emissions Trading System with Emerging Carbon Markets in other Countries”, in Brussel, May 2006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR)University of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)MannheimGermany
  3. 3.Fraktion DIE LINKE. im BundestagBerlinGermany

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