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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article explains the complexities involved in pollution control and aspects of vested interests in Carbon emissions trading schemes (ETS). As this article explains, there are two broad sets of concerns over applying economic pollution control theory to mitigating GHGs. First, a simple pollutant model assuming known impacts between a limited number of known source point polluters proves inadequate for capturing the essential characteristics of the problem. Second, a lack of realism in terms of market structure and a total absence of anything in the economic model relating to power in society, mean analysts implicitly adopt the existing political economy without awareness as to the consequences for public policy. Using the examples of GHG accounting problems and permit allocation, this article criticizes the idea that ETS can be redesigned to make it better and eventually all problems with the approach can be solved.

Keywords: carbon trading, economic pollution control theory, emissions trading schemes, GHG reduction, regulatory instrument choice

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