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Regulation lite: the rise of emissions trading

Baldwin, Robert (2008) Regulation lite: the rise of emissions trading. LSE law, society and economy working papers, 03-2008. Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Emissions trading is the governmentally - promoted hope for a sustainable world. In different contexts, trading regimes display varying potential – both in absolute terms and in comparison with other regulatory instruments. Emissions trading, however, is a device that raises urgent issues regarding its objectives, cost-effectiveness, fairness, transparency, and legitimacy. Its use places emphasis on its ‘acceptability’ and the virtues of regulation that is ‘lite’ because it is non-threatening to the most powerful interests. Emissions trading is resonant with assumptions that are highly contentious - notably that it is acceptable because it involves no losers, or because, in desperate global circumstances, we have no choice but to use it. There is a need to confront the difficult issues presented by emissions trading; to face the challenges of combining ‘market’ and ‘democratic’ systems of legitimation; and to avoid taking refuge in all too comfortable beliefs in cumulative checks and balances.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Identification Number: 03-2008
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2009 14:09

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