Keywords: climate change, emissions trading, environmental policy, international environmental agreements
The role of emissions trading in implementing the UN Climate Convention
The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Climate Convention allows countries to meet greenhouse gas emission commitments in part through emissions trading. There is no precedent for a global regime and only the USA has domestic experience. The USA would prefer minimal constraints on greenhouse gas trading. The EU would like rules guaranteeing that trading will be supplemental to domestic action and that countries are not able to transfer "hot air", reducing the environmental effectiveness of the protocol. Agreeing trading rules is vital if the Kyoto Protocol is to enter into force. Emissions trading is compatible with a range of domestic policies and measures, but some form of cap and trade scheme is needed to make international trading possible. Discussions on domestic trading are less welladvanced. Domestic trading must mesh with existing EU regulatory frameworks such as Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control and should not obstruct the introduction of other policies.