An Analysis of Allowance Banking in the EU ETS

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2015

See all articles by A. Denny Ellerman

A. Denny Ellerman

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Vanessa Valero

Loughborough University

Aleksandar Zaklan

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: April 2015

Abstract

The existence of some 2 billion unused EU Allowances (EUAs) at the end of Phase II of the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has sparked considerable debate about structural shortcomings of the EU ETS. At the same time, there has been a surprising lack of interest in one possible explanation of this accumulation of EUAs: the theory of intertemporal permit trading, i.e. allowance banking. In this paper we adapt basic banking theory to the case of a smoothly declining cap such as that in the EU ETS. We show that it is rational for agents to decrease emissions beyond the constraint imposed by the cap initially, accumulating an allowance bank and then drawing it down in the interest of minimizing abatement cost over time. Having laid out the theory, we carry out a set of simulations for a reasonable range of key parameters, calibrated to the EU ETS, to illustrate the effects of intertemporal optimization of abatement decisions on optimal time paths of emissions and allowance prices. We also explore the effect of an unexpected change in counterfactual emissions. We conclude that bank accumulation as the result of intertemporal abatement cost optimization should be considered at least a partial explanation when evaluating the current discrepancy between the cap and observed emissions in the EU ETS.

Keywords: Cap and Trade System, EU ETS, Intertemporal Trading

JEL Classification: D92, F18, Q54

Suggested Citation

Ellerman, A. Denny and Valero, Vanessa and Zaklan, Aleksandar, An Analysis of Allowance Banking in the EU ETS (April 2015). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2015/29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2631964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2631964

A. Denny Ellerman (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Vanessa Valero

Loughborough University ( email )

Ashby Road
Nottingham NG1 4BU
Great Britain

Aleksandar Zaklan

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
92
Abstract Views
548
rank
310,915
PlumX Metrics