Turkish 'Environmental' Accession to the EU: The European Union Emissions Trading System

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-23

Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper Paper No. 2011-10

23 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011 Last revised: 30 Sep 2011

Date Written: August 31, 2011


Since the establishment of its original mandate as a purely economic union, the competences of the European Union have rapidly expanded, not least in the area of environmental policy making. This increase in competency areas has also affected the accession conditions for Turkey – the necessity for Turkey to harmonize its laws with the European acquis communautaire now includes the harmonization of environmental regulations. This inclusion will require much in terms of administrative and legislative capacity from the Turkish government. As such, Turkey’s pre-existing environmental situation has been described as ‘a considerable obstacle in its EU accession efforts’. This article will focus on the current stumble blocks for Turkey in terms harmonization of environmental regulation, specifically in the area of climate change policy. The increasing use of so-called market-based instruments in this area prima facie appears to aid Turkey in combining economic development with environmental sustainability but the reality proves to be very complex. This article will discuss the position of Turkey as a candidate state to the European Union in terms of environmental policy, focusing on its potential role within the EU ETS. The build up of this paper will thus be as follows: first, the most important features of current European climate (change) policy will be highlighted, focusing on the internal targets of “20 20 by 2020” (January 2008) and the more externally focused “International climate policy post- Copenhagen: Acting now to reinvigorate global action on climate change” (March 2010). Then, the context and functioning of the EU ETS will be explored. Second, an overview of the Turkish environment and possible hurdles regarding the implementation of the European environmental acquis will be given. The final part of this article will analyze the possible advantages for Turkey in joining the EU ETS – compared to its current position under theKyoto Protocol mechanisms – and the legal stumble blocks possibly preventing inclusion in the EU ETS – both in terms of European law and international law.

Keywords: Turkey, Accession, European Union, Environmental Policy, Emissions Trading

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

van Zeben, Josephine A. W., Turkish 'Environmental' Accession to the EU: The European Union Emissions Trading System (August 31, 2011). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2011-23, Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper Paper No. 2011-10 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1920292

Josephine A. W. Van Zeben (Contact Author)

Wageningen University and Research ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN

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