Learning by Doing: A Comparative Analysis of EU and Chinese Emission Trading Systems

by Ilaria Mazzocco
PhD Student, China Studies, Johns Hopkins University – SAIS

[Over the course of 2013 and 2014, seven pilot emission trading systems (ETSs) were
launched in various cities and regions in China. This represents a huge potential testing ground for market-based solutions to pollution, both in China and internationally. In aggregate, the pilot markets represent the second largest cap and trade program in the world by emissions – second only to the EU ETS, which has been in place since 2005. Lax enforcement, limited technical expertise, and gaps in the legal and institutional framework could, however, undermine the project. By comparing the evolution of the ETS, relevant laws and policies, as well as institutional capacity for China’s ETS and the EU ETS, the paper identifies challenges and opportunities facing policymakers. In particular, the lack of central planning could have potentially damaging effects in the long-term even as it facilitates experimentation in the initial phase. Further collaboration between the EU and China on climate change and specifically ETS could improve the long-term prospects of both systems.]


SAIS CSR Edition I – Learning By Doing – Ilaria Mazzocco – Full Text

About the author:
Ilaria Mazzocco is a PhD student of the China Studies Department of Johns Hopkins University – SAIS. She previously worked as program associate for the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative and a research intern at the Woodrow Wilson Center China Environment Forum. In addition, she worked at the Asia Society, a nonprofit based in New York, and as a business consultant. She holds a M.A. in International Economics and China Studies from Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, a M.A. in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University (CEU) in Hungary and a B.A. from Bard College.

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