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The structural determinants of carbon prices in the EU-ETS

Abstract : The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) is referred to as the cornerstone of the EU's fight against climate change. However, carbon prices delivered have been judged too low and volatile to durably place the economy on a low-carbon trajectory. Price outcomes were largely attributed to a supply imbalance of permits due to external shocks: supply-side reforms, reviewed in a first chapter, were in turn conducted to shield the EU-ETS from them, with limited success.Yet, most prospective analyses of the EU-ETS rest on archetypal models of emission trading, which disregard the inner market structure and fundamentals. Therefore, this dissertation contributes to better understand price formation in the European carbon market by investigating structural drivers of permit prices, appraising their impact on market outcomes and policy design. Motivated by transaction and compliance data, the second and third chapters provide ex-post analyses of the second (2008-2012) and third (2013-2020) trading periods. We find that the market structure is unstable, with consequences on prices and supply-side policies. Our results question the benefits of a carbon price floor to remedy these instabilities, by helping market actors anchor expectations about future carbon prices. A fourth chapter thus conducts a comparative ex-ante analysis of the EU-ETS power sector under three plausible price floor policies. Our results suggest that no such complementary policies are necessary, because of the MSR's ability to quickly cutback on the number of allowances in circulation.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 21, 2021 - 8:10:13 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 9:50:55 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03232653, version 1


Anouk Faure. The structural determinants of carbon prices in the EU-ETS. Economics and Finance. Université de Nanterre - Paris X, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020PA100110⟩. ⟨tel-03232653⟩



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