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Linking carbon markets: concepts, case studies and pathways

Andreas Tuerk, Michael Mehling, Christian Flachsland and Wolfgang Sterk

Climate Policy, 2009, vol. 9, issue 4, 341-357

Abstract: The barriers to linking greenhouse gas cap-and-trade schemes are assessed, based on an analysis of existing and emerging trading schemes, including those in the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the EU. The feasibility of different forms of linking and the time frames for their implementation are examined. In particular, the barriers to direct bilateral linking are considered. It was found that only a few direct bilateral links will be viable in the short term, due to the divergent policy priorities of different nations and regions, reflected in critical design features, such as costcontainment measures. However, in the short term, cap-and-trade markets will very likely be indirectly linked via unilateral links to the CDM or new crediting mechanisms, which may be adopted within a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. In order to ensure a harmonization of critical design elements in the mid to long term, early institutional cooperation may become necessary. Necessary policy steps and the appropriate institutional framework for such harmonization and, overtime, further integration of trading schemes are briefly delineated.

Date: 2009
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