The Regulation of International Emission Activities in view of Climate Change: Future role of the EU ETS
PhD student: Mrs Y. Gao
Promotors: Mrs Dr M.G.W.M. Peeters, Prof M.G. Faure
Duration: 15/9/2012 - 14/9/2016
This research aims to discuss the future role of the EU ETS (which is the EU wide market for greenhouse gas emission allowances, established by directive 2003/87/EC) and examines from a legal perspective its role for regulating specifically international greenhouse gas emission activities. The EU has included international aviation into its emissions trading instrument since 2012 while there are many countries around the world greatly opposed to this action, and foreign aviation companies are not yet complying with the EU obligations. Legal conflicts that stem from the resistance against the unilateral action have already emerged and will most likely continue to exist in the next few years. Next to this, the EU is exploring to adopt unilateral regulation of greenhouse gas emissions of international shipping. With these unilateral actions the EU tries to invoke bilateral and multilateral agreements that regulate aviation and shipping in an effective and adequate way. In connection to this, the EU sees also an opportunity to expand its domestic emissions trading system to other countries and/ or the international level. This research examines this unilateral action of the EU from a EU law and international public law perspective. More particularly, the research examines how a unilateral regulatory approach by the EU can contribute and connect to bilateral and multilateral agreements regulating international emission activities, particularly aviation and shipping. In this respect, the compatibility of the unilateral approach of the EU by means of emissions trading with international public law, and more specifically with international approaches such as the UNFCCC / Kyoto Protocol, ICAO and IMO will be studied in order to understand which room there is for unilateral action addressing (yet unregulated) international greenhouse gas emission activities. The project has started in September 2012, and will run for four years. In the first months of the project, the research question, methodology, limits and time plan will be developed.