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New rules, new politics, same actors – explaining policy change in the EU ETS

Drew, Andres J. (2010) New rules, new politics, same actors – explaining policy change in the EU ETS. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 29. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Abstract

The allocation rules for phase one EU ETS emissions permits demonstrates that energy generators were lobbying winners because they successfully blocked differential treatment (rules) from energy intensive industries, who cannot pass-on real or nominal costs of permits to consumers. As a result, these generators benefited from windfall profits. In phase three, the reverse is true; energy intensive industries successfully established differential rules. These rules will provide energy intensive industries with free allocations while most generators will be subject to 100 per cent auctioning, thus removing the windfall profit mechanism for generators. Literature applying public choice theory to this case study predicted free permit allocations but not windfall profits for generators nor the change in allocation rules in phase three. This paper presents the argument that a shift in Wilson’s Typology from client to interest group politics best explains these changes and provides a good framework for other jurisdictions considering emissions trading reforms. This dynamism in Wilson’s Typology is demonstrated by comparing the positions of industry associations representing energy generators and energy intensive industries with the two directives before and after consultations, which facilitates the identification of lobbying winners and losers. The EU ETS case study is fertile ground for testing regulatory theories that explain shifts away from clientelist policies with high levels of rent-seeking and towards more optimal policy equilibriums. This paper provides both a theoretical framework and empirical evidence for how emissions trading policy can be improved, despite rent-seeking, once it clears the legislative hurdle.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2010 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q52 - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q58 - Government Policy
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 29
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2011 14:16
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37599/

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