Certified emissions reductions and CDM limits: revenue and distributional aspects

November 2012
Climate Policy (Earthscan);2012, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p645
Academic Journal
The EU allows those installations that are subject to emissions trading to use a limited volume of certified emissions reductions (CERs), generated through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), to cover their own GHG emissions. These CERs can be used in addition to the EU allowances (EUAs), which were primarily allocated free to installations in Phase II of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from 2008 to 2012. For the year 2008, the CER limits, which are differentiated by EU Member State, created substantial arbitrage rents (due to the CER-EUA spread) of approximately EUE250 million. Different options for the allocation of this rent are discussed and it is found that, according to economic theory, making the right to use CERs tradable or the regulator pre-committing to buying CERs at the level of the relevant limit reduces the inefficiencies connected to the current regulation. Furthermore, auctioning these CER usage rights shifts the rents created through the CER-EUA spread to the Member State itself. The improved design and implementation of CDM limits justifies EU policy makers intervening to correct previously competition-distorting choices.


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