The Economisation of Climate Change: An Assessment of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
31 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017
Date Written: April 28, 2017
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is demonstrative of a trend towards the use of market based mechanisms by states attempting to reduce their domestic greenhouse gas emissions. The adoption of this measure in favour of a carbon tax is arguably rooted in the neoliberal ideology of the economic and political systems of the EU. The use, and efficacy of the ETS, serves to highlight the asymmetry between economic and environmental considerations when addressing climate change mitigation, which often results in the prioritisation of economic benefits above environmental degradation. Yet, centrally, the limited effect in terms of greenhouse gas reductions that these types of measures have so far demonstrated is not because they are a product of neoliberal economic and political ideology, but instead, the political reluctance to reform the ETS to the extent necessary for it to contribute meaningfully to the EU’s climate change mitigation commitments. Nonetheless, the use of economic measures within the field of climate governance is arguably one useful means, within a plethora of other public and private mechanisms, of addressing EU greenhouse gas emissions.
Keywords: Transnational Law, climate change, EU, Emissions Trading Scheme, ETS, neoliberalism, commodification, markets
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