Contributions of economics and ethics to an assessment of emissions trading

Contributions of economics and ethics to an assessment of emissions trading / Adrian Muller. Zurich : University Research Priority Programme in Ethics ; Institute for Environmental Decisions, 201146 o p.

Emissions trading (ET) is an economic policy instrument designed to manage environmental pollutants such as carbon dioxide. Economic analysis provides many valuable insights into the design and implementation of ET systems, especially on efficiency-related issues. However, with regard to topics out- side its core competences, such as justice, economics needs to be complemented by contributions from other disciplines. After an overview of the economics of emissions trading, this article assesses ethical aspects of emissions trading as a showcase for how other disciplines can complement the economic approach. The article finds that the large majority of ethics-based objections to emissions trading are based on perceived problems of injustice. The only other such argument that can be consistently adduced is indulgence trade in carbon reduction; that is, that it matters, from an ethical perspective, who does the reducing. (© A. Muller)

Pre-publication excerpt from : Daniel Spreng, Thomas Flüeler, David L. Goldblatt and Jürg Minsch.  Tackling Long-Term Global Energy Problems: The Contribution of Social Science. Series Environment & Policy, Vol. 52. Dordrecht, Springer. (To be published on December 2011)

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