Low Allowance Prices in the EU Emissions Trading System: New Research on an Evolving Program

The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest worldwide. Since its inception in 2005, it has experienced allowance price volatility and low overall prices. Generally, the fact that it costs less than anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions would be good news. Instead, these price dynamics are bad news for many […]

Resources Magazine: Wood Energy in Developed Economies: An Overlooked Renewable

Though it is often ignored in national conversations about renewables, wood energy dominates renewable energy portfolios in many developed countries—and is poised for exponential growth. Francisco Aguilar sets the record straight about this salient energy source. Considered to be the first form of energy harnessed by humans, wood was long the primary source of heat and […]

Fixing Emissions Trading Imbalances with a Price Floor

The centerpiece of Europe Union’s climate policy, the cap-and-trade Emissions Trading System (ETS), is being hobbled by a large oversupply of emissions allowances in the market. Since 2008, the ETS has rapidly accumulated a two gigaton surplus of allowances. The oversupply of allowances and low level of emissions is the result of a number of […]

How Have Recent Fuel Economy and GHG Standards for New Passenger Vehicles Affected the US and European Markets?

In the second post of a two-part series, RFF Fellow Joshua Linn examines how recent standards have affected the type and rate of technology adoption in new vehicles. Click to read the first installment. Concerns about global warming and energy security have caused many countries to tighten passenger vehicle standards for greenhouse gases and fuel […]

Understanding the Tradeoffs of CAFE Standards

In the first of a two-part series, RFF Fellow Joshua Linn explains how vehicle manufacturers respond to tightening fuel economy standards. Click to read the second installment. Though the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been regulating the fuel economy of US vehicles since 1978, the levels of the standards were pretty much flat […]

The UK, Fracking, and Mineral Rights

In an editorial, the Economist this week argues that “if Britain wants an American-style energy boom, it should import American-style local taxation.” In short, they argue that differences in public opinion toward fracking are driven by differences in how the benefits of development are distributed. In the UK (and most other European countries), subsurface mineral […]

The German Energy Experiment

The rapid change in Germany’s energy mix – the Energiewende, or “energy shift”—is readily apparent to any visitor. Towering wind turbines sprout from ridges, just as across much of Europe and parts of the U.S. The bigger surprise—and bigger change in just the last few years—is the increase in solar deployment. Not just rooftops, but […]

RFF Feature: The Past, Present, and Future of Carbon Markets

New research explores lessons learned to date from carbon markets around the world and presents new issues to be examined in the future, such as the linking of existing markets. Click here to read the feature in its entirety.

Aiming Low: The Ambition Deficit in Global Emissions Reductions

As in Durban, a notable concern at this COP is the “ambition deficit”—that is, the significant gap between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommended level of emissions reductions—those required to limit global temperature rise to 2°C—and the level of emissions reductions currently committed to by countries worldwide. In other words, everyone is aiming low […]

Senate Stares Down Europe on Aviation Carbon

Early last Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate stepped squarely into the debate over global aviation emissions, unanimously passing a bill that would give the Secretary of Transportation the power to prohibit U.S. airlines from complying with a new European law that require all airlines flying to or from Europe to participate in the European cap-and-trade […]