emissions trading

Taking A Data-Driven Tour of Air Pollution Law

After Half a Century, What Do We Really Know about the Impacts of the Clean Air Act?

Earlier this year, a team of economists published a retrospective paper on the Clean Air Act. It surveys the economic literature to find out what the data tells us about emission trading systems, the effects of pollutants, and effects of imposing tougher regulatory requirements in areas that failed to meet national air quality standards. Some …

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Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China

Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China

A New UCLA Report for Chinese Regulators and Researchers

We are pleased to announce the release of a new UCLA Law Emmett Institute of Climate Change & Environment report on Emissions Trading in California: Lessons for China. As many of you know, China launched trading for its national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading system (ETS) in 2021. By volume of emissions, the Chinese system …

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Governing Emissions Trading in California and China

Two new policy reports from an international research collaboration consider the design and implementation of emissions trading systems in China and California

Carbon markets are at a crossroads. As of 2021, 30 emissions trading systems were in force globally, covering 16–17% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Last year, climate negotiators in Glasgow finalized the Paris Agreement rulebook for international cooperation through carbon markets, clearing the way for the expansion of emissions trading and carbon pricing worldwide. …

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Major International Climate Developments

China and the EU took important steps forward this week.

This week has seen some big climate moves on opposite sides of the world. The EU has proposed a major new climate plan. Meanwhile, China is ready to go live with its emissions trading system. The U.S. is at risk of being left behind. The EU’s proposal is impressive. The goal is to cut  net …

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Washington State Ups Its Climate Game

After much travail, the state has finally put a price on carbon.

The Washington state legislature passed a historic climate change bill on April 24.  The bill requires a 95% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. After much travail, the state has finally managed to put a price on carbon by adopting a cap-and-trade system. With the decision of additional states to join the east coast RGGI …

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Environmental Justice and Climate Action

Are the two in conflict? What should we make of the attacks on Mary Nichols?

Mary Nichols, the frontrunner to head EPA, was knocked out of contention earlier this week.  She would have been a formidable choice to implement Biden’s climate policies.  For that reason, it wasn’t clear whether she would have the votes to get through the narrowly divided Senate. But she was ultimately taken down by the fierce …

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China’s Distinctive Approach to Emissions Trading

It’s getting harder for the U.S. to use Chinese inaction as an excuse.

China’s emissions trading program is slowly forward toward implementation.   It’s by no means a perfect program, but it should result in significant emissions reductions. The Chinese program has some features that make it less cost-effective. Nonetheless, researchers at RFF concluded that the climate benefits will be three times the cost of emission reductions. They didn’t …

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Pricing Carbon: What Does It Actually Accomplish?

Pricing carbon may not work the way economists thought.

In theory, pricing carbon should incentivize emissions reductions.  In reality, it is unclear to what extent that takes place unless the carbon price is very high.  This is not to say that pricing carbon is useless, but the main benefits may take different forms. Basically, there are two ways of putting a price on carbon.  …

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The Place of Pruitt’s Nightmares

How is California fighting climate change? Let me count the ways.

In his worst dreams, Scott Pruitt must find himself surrounded by solar panels and windmills, pursued by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator himself, who has returned from the future to stop him before he can doom the planet.  When he awakes, he realizes to his relief that he’s safe in bed well outside the borders of …

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Climate Policy Canadian-Style

Canada is setting a great example to its southern neighbor.

Despite our geographic proximity and close economic ties, Canada doesn’t get a lot of press attention in the U.S. But unknown to many, Canada has been taking aggressive steps forward in climate policy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected Trump’s decision in no uncertain terms: We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has …

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