Australia's emissions trading scheme: opportunities and obstacles for linking

July 2009
Climate Policy (Earthscan);2009, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p402
Academic Journal
Australia is establishing an economy-wide emissions trading scheme, with a detailed proposal tabled by government in December 2008 and a scheme start planned for 2011. The proposal is for unilateral linking through the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation, but no initial bilateral linkages. Concerns about permit prices rising too high are prominent, and are reflected in a ban on permit sales and a price cap provision. This article evaluates the proposed Australian scheme with regard to international emissions trading and linkages. Different scenarios for the Australian permit price under unilateral linking are considered. Options for bilateral linking with the European Union and New Zealand schemes are evaluated. We argue that Australia should dismantle the obstacles to linking, including the proposed price cap, and move towards bilateral linking with suitable schemes.


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