Dorsch, M.J., Flachsland, C., Kornek, U.

Building and enhancing climate policy ambition with transfers: allowance allocation and revenue spending in the EU ETS

in Environmental Politics, 05.09.2019

Peer Review , Governance

Sustaining and increasing climate policy ambition in the presence of heterogeneous interests and potential veto players is a key challenge for climate governance. We examine the conceptual and empirical significance of transfers to balance heterogeneous interests and build support for raising climate policy ambition in the development of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). We provide insights into how to strategically sequence ‘brown cushioning’ and ‘green push’ policy incentives within the EU ETS to deliberately incentivize transformative change among actor constituencies towards decarbonization endogenously. The analysis demonstrates the significance of preventive and compensatory buy-in, via allowance allocation and revenue spending design, for the introduction and each major reform of the scheme. Given the potential for a substantially increasing value distributed within the EU ETS, future policy options should aim to strengthen the scheme’s inherent incentives towards decarbonization and to prevent an increasing structural divide among EU member states.