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The Role of EU Internal Policies in Implementing Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options to Achieve Kyoto Targets

Abstract

This paper reviews the role of internal European Union (EU) policies and measures in implementing the target for greenhouse gas mitigation in the Kyoto Protocol. It starts with a discussion of the EU Burden Sharing Agreement, which distributes the target between Member States. This leads to a review of the appropriate level of implementation of policies, i.e. at the EU level or Member State level. There is a role for the flexible mechanisms of the Protocol, particularly emission permit trading, in complementing Member State policies at the EU level. The implementation is to be done against the background of three major factors which may have an important bearing on the policies:

• the probable long-term requirement of substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

• a changing structure of energy markets, following liberalisation of the gas and electricity markets

• EU enlargement to include economies in transition with the potential for further substantial reductions in emissions.

The paper concludes with a discussion of ancillary benefits of the policies that may be substantial and a summary of the position as regards the "unfinished business" of the Protocol to be discussed at the Conference of the Parties in the Hague in November 2000.

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Barker, T., Kram, T., Oberthür, S. et al. The Role of EU Internal Policies in Implementing Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options to Achieve Kyoto Targets. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 1, 243–265 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010133423451

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  • burden sharing
  • EU and Member State policy implementation
  • EU policies
  • greenhouse gas mitigation
  • Kyoto Mechanisms
  • Kyoto Protocol