Preparing for the ‘real’ market: national patterns of institutional learning and company behaviour in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)

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Series Details Vol.18, No 5, Sept-Oct 2008, p276-297
Publication Date September 2008
ISSN 0961-0405
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Abstract: European companies have reacted in different ways to the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), Phase I. While some companies engaged in an active trading behaviour focused on additional revenues, others adopted a strategy orientated to mere compliance with the scheme and aimed for balanced accounts only. This article provides the outcomes of a survey on company behaviour under the EU ETS in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark from 2005 to 2006, in which cross-national differences in trading behaviour are linked to national patterns of policy implementation and the political economies in which companies operate. Thus, specific country patterns of institutional preparation and institutional learning for the real CO2 allowance market in Phase II of the EU ETS (2008-2012) are sketched. Whereas Phase I is distinguished by a net over-allocation of allowances, Phase II is expected to entail some level of scarcity of allowances. We argue that companies are prepared differently to meet the challenges of the future EU ETS.

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