Josephine V. Yam

AI Lawyer & AI Ethicist.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist.
Climate Change Advocate.


The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme: Criteria Evaluations & Lessons Learned

CIRL EU ETS Lessons Learned

This article won First Prize at the 2014 Canadian Institute of Resources Law (CIRL) Student Natural Resources Law Writing Competition.

It evaluates the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to determine whether it has effectively reduced greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 to 2012. Based on three evaluation criteria, the EU ETS fared well in political feasibility but not in environmental integrity and cost-effectiveness. This article provides several lessons learned for other jurisdictions to consider when they set up their emissions trading schemes. Despite the plethora of challenges that the EU ETS faced, its overall success can be affirmed in its role as a shining testament that international emissions trading actually works.