Economists and policy analysts recognize a well-designed cap-and-trade scheme as the premier approach to effectively reduce carbon emissions. However, politics is bound to play a major role in the policymaking process—more so with carbon dioxide emissions than other pollutants like sulfur dioxide. This paper examines the political climate in which the major trading scheme in the European Union was proposed in order to explore how politics affects the programs’ environmental integrity and ultimate policy outcome. Based on an analysis of the EU’s program, many pieces need to align within the political landscape for a cap-and-trade system to pass the policymaking body, let alone an ambitious one.

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© 2014 Alice H. Chang

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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