The EU ETS in the European Climate Policy Mix: Past, Present and Future

123 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010

See all articles by Harro van Asselt

Harro van Asselt

Stockholm Environment Institute; University of Eastern Finland

Date Written: April 27, 2010


Emissions trading is arguably the lynchpin of EU (European Union) climate policy. In January 2005 the EU adopted a cap-and-trade emissions trading system, through which a certain emission cap was set and a fixed number of emission allowances distributed amongst installations in the various Member States. Although the system has encountered some problems, the EU has not lost faith in it. In fact, even more now depends on its performance – not least the EU’s credibility in international climate politics – than when it was first adopted.

The system is undeniably innovative. Prior to 2005, only a few countries had experimented with emissions trading, and no one had ever attempted to employ it at a supranational level. Against this background, this report seeks to analyse and assess the functioning of the EU ETS from a political and legal perspective, and to explore how capable the scheme is to deal with future challenges. To this end, the report examines the past, present and future of emissions trading in the EU.

Keywords: emissions trading, climate policy, EU ETS

Suggested Citation

van Asselt, Harro, The EU ETS in the European Climate Policy Mix: Past, Present and Future (April 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Harro Van Asselt (Contact Author)

Stockholm Environment Institute ( email )

United Kingdom

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics