Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cap-and-trade program regulating the carbon emissions of specific industrial facilities and is the EU’s primary policy mechanism for complying with emissions reduction targets found in the Kyoto Protocol. This dissertation examines the overall effectiveness of the EU ETS and more specifically what factors explain why some member states are more successful at reducing their carbon emissions than others. OLS and logistic regression models are constructed as well as qualitative case studies of Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Greece, to examine observed differences in emissions in all 27 EU member states from 2005-2010 The models include variables relating to the overall capacity of the state to reduce emissions as well as other institutional factors, including measures of corruption, public opinion, renewable energy production, domestic oil production, green party presence in the national government and European Parliament, cabinet ideology, length of EU membership, post-communism and how permits are allocated. The time period examined includes the entire trial phase as well as the first three years of the first commitment period of Kyoto. The factors that best explain success or failure to effectively reduce emissions in the EU may provide insight into how best to achieve future emissions reductions there as well as in other carbon emissions trading programs already implemented or being designed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Clark, William