At the stage of international post-Kyoto negotiations, the adoption of ambitious public policies raises an increasing interest, as society has a whole is more concerned by the scale of damages and the potential irreversibilities linked to climate change. The introduction of a tradable permits market in Europe on January 1, 2005, in order to provide incentives to Member-States to take early abatement measures, may be seen as a decisive first step towards that direction. The creation of the EU ETS has indeed revealed the key role played by the European Union in the preservation of the global public good that constitutes the climate. Following a review of current climate policies, and of the negotiations under way at the international level, this article critically discusses the main advantages of introducing environmental regulation tools such as tradable permits markets.
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