The Policy and Legal Challenges of the EU Emissions Trading System in the Fight against Climate Change

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Iliana Papacharalampous


The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the world’s largest emissions
market. The scheme was first introduced into the EU legal order in 2015 with
the aim to promote Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction and to help
the EU comply with its obligations under the international climate change regime1034.
It has been described by the EU Commission as ‘‘a cornerstone of the
EU’s policy to combat climate change and a key tool for reducing GHG costeffectively’’
1035. Nevertheless, given the EU’s long term strategy to be carbon
neutral by 20501036, it is clear that the EU ETS faces considerable challenges
from a policy and legal perspective as it will be argued in this essay.

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