Evaluating Europe’s Flagship Carbon Policies

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Arthur Van Benthem

School Affiliation: The Wharton School
Country or Region Engaged: Europe
Fund: Global Engagement Fund
Year Awarded: 2023-24
Expertise: Climate Change, Sustainability, Economics, Agriculture, Political Science, Law
The European Union has long been a leader in global climate policy. This project evaluates critical performance aspects of two of the EU's flagship climate policies: the Emissions Trading Scheme for carbon emissions and the expansion of Europe's land conservation program. The carbon-markets research tackles two open questions. First, what is the environmental impact when governments "cancel carbon" by retiring carbon allowances from the market? Second, what are the economic and environmental impacts of the recently-approved carbon border taxes --levies on imports to account for carbon emitted in the production process outside Europe? The research on land-use policies also focuses on two questions: First, how much have protected areas contributed to additional forest cover? Second, what has been the impact of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy on forest cover, crop choice, and agricultural production? This research agenda holds significant promise to provide practical recommendations for improving current policy effectiveness.