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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: July 2011



Pricing Carbon is the result of a multinational research collaboration primarily between researchers (leader in brackets) at the Mission Climat of the Caisse des Dépôts and the University Paris-Dauphine in Paris (Christian de Perthuis), University College Dublin (UCD) (Frank Convery) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Denny Ellerman) but also involving researchers from the International Energy Agency (IEA) (Richard Baron and Barbara Buchner), the Öko-Institut in Berlin (Felix Matthes) and the University Paris-Dauphine (Jan Horst Keppler).

The project has been motivated by the belief that the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme is a significant public policy experiment that should be subjected to a comprehensive and rigorous ex post evaluation. It is the world's first cap-and-trade programme for greenhouse gases, by far the largest environmental market in the world and the possible prototype for a global climate policy regime that would be based on emissions trading.

As an ex post exercise, the research reported in this book is resolutely backward-looking and focused mostly on the first three years that constituted the trial period of the EU ETS. The tone of the book is more descriptive or positive than normative. The objective is to describe, analyse, and understand what has transpired and not to prescribe what should be, or should have been. The normative preferences of the authors may intrude here and there, but the intent has been to keep these judgements to a minimum and to let every reader draw his or her own conclusions about the European experience during the trial period.