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Beyond Déjà Vu: Opportunities for Policy Learning from Emissions Trading in Developed Countries journal article

Sonja Klinsky, Michael Mehling, Andreas Tuerk

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 6 (2012), Issue 4, Page 291 - 305

Under pressure to abate greenhouse gas emissions without burdening their economies, several countries around the world have introduced emissions trading systems as a centerpiece of their climate change mitigation strategies. Drawing on the experiences with emissions trading made in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region, this article shows that considerable diversity can be observed across systems, providing valuable opportunities for comparison and policy learning. Individually, and in comparison, existing trading systems offer lessons that can be applied to the design and implementation of new systems – especially in emerging economies where carbon markets are currently under development, such as China – and to the improvement of already operating systems. Such lessons are identified in three different categories: the role of the political process and economic context; system design; and system implementation and operation.

In the Market - Building Capacity for Emissions Trading: The ICA journal article

Tobias Hausotter, Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 6 (2012), Issue 4, Page 408 - 413

I. Capacity building for emissions trading: Concept and priorities Several contributions to this issue of the Carbon & Climate Law Review have illustrated current efforts to introduce emissions trading systems in the developing world. Overall, this is a welcome trend, as it shows that carbon markets are successfully incentivizing more robust mitigation efforts in countries with the fastest growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Given that any meaningful action on climate change will necessitate allocation of scarce resources among many competing aims, the flexibility and efficiency gains offered by a marketbased approach may indeed be critical for any prospect of avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the global climate system. It is thus readily apparent that ensuring the integrity of these emissions trading systems will become vitally important far beyond the national boundaries of the countries that introduce them.

Market-based Instruments for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Brazil: Experiences and Prospects journal article

Michael Mehling, Sebastian Mielke

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 6 (2012), Issue 4, Page 365 - 372

Brazil has become an increasingly important participant in the discussion about climate change, combining an active role in climate diplomacy with credible domestic policy efforts. Market-based instruments have featured prominently in its domestic policy landscape, with carbon markets envisioned both at the federal and regional level. Aside from successful participation in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and some progress in the creation of voluntary offset markets, however, the pathway towards a domestic carbon market has so far been fraught by delays and ongoing uncertainty. Still, Brazil can build on proven institutional structures, quantified emissions limitation targets, and new rules on the collection of emissions data and sectoral mitigation plans to establish robust market-based instruments. A carbon market can help leverage its vast mitigation potential to abate greenhouse gas emissions at sufficient scale while limiting the cost of compliance for domestic entities. Given its unique emissions profile, however, Brazil should not focus on becoming a net seller of carbon credits or allowances to foreign entities, but should instead harness the opportunity to create an ambitious, welldesigned market and thereby become a leader on climate change mitigation in Latin America.

Between Twilight and Renaissance: Changing Prospects for the Carbon Market journal article

Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 6 (2012), Issue 4, Page 277 - 290

While several established carbon markets are experiencing a crisis of confidence, a remarkable transition towards carbon trading is currently underway in the developing world. Given the multiple benefits ascribed to market-based instruments for greenhouse gas abatement, the rise of carbon markets in important emerging economies should come as no surprise: no other policy option promises certainty of environmental outcome while lowering the cost of its achievement, and developing countries with rapidly growing economies are no less sensitive to the impacts of carbon constraints than their developed counterparts. But it would be premature to assume a carbon market renaissance: as the experience in industrialized countries has shown, quantity rationing with tradable emission units places considerable demands on the implementing jurisdiction, requiring technical capacity and political will in order to succeed. Although the rise of carbon trading in developing countries affirms the continued relevance of this policy instrument, it also highlights the importance of policy learning and clarity about objectives if earlier missteps are to be avoided. Providing the introductory background for a special issue of the Carbon & Climate Law Review (CCLR) on carbon markets in the developing world, this article canvasses recent developments and central trends in carbon trading, suggesting tentative priorities for developing countries engaged in the pursuit of domestic markets.

Editorial journal article

Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 5 (2011), Issue 4, Page 415 - 416

Questions of law and regulation have featured in the discussion of climate change ever since policy makers declared it a challenge requiring a societal response. Both nationally and internationally, however, the conversation has usually been dominated by concerns about the likely impacts of climate change, the availability of technological solutions and their economic cost, and questions of fairness and responsibility; legal norms and principles have generally been left to the domain of lawyers and their arcane forms of rule-based discourse.

Improving the Clean Development Mechanism Post-2012: A Developing Country Perspective journal article

Nhan Nguyen, Minh Ha-Duong, Sandra Greiner, Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 4 (2010), Issue 1, Page 10

lean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows developed countries to cofinance projects realized in developing countries in exchange for certificates of greenhouse gas emission reductions. Identifying a future for this mechanism has become an urgent matter for international climate negotiations, given that the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. Also, the CDM remains the only established instrument allowing an active role for the developing world in mitigation activities. In recent years, this mechanism has

Editorial journal article

Harro van Asselt, Michael Mehling

Carbon & Climate Law Review, Volume 4 (2010), Issue 3, Page 215 - 218

Does the European Union still matter when it comes to mitigating global climate change? While this question may appear overly dramatized, observers of the international climate change debate have started to wonder whether the EU is still able to influence the course of negotiations on a post-2012 climate regime. Contrary to a wide misperception, the EU did have a seat at the table when the Copenhagen Accord was being drafted in December 2009. Yet the final agreement is seen primarily as a deal brokered between the United States and China. On crucial issues, the Accord does not reflect the official negotiating stance of the EU. Among many other elements, it does not provide an indication of how – let alone when – to arrive at a legally binding agreement, nor does it set out specific levels of greenhouse gas emissions that major emitters should achieve in coming years.