Call for abstracts now open! ~Deadline 16th November 2015~

The global turn to greenhouse gas emissions trading: Experiments, innovation, actors, drivers and consequences

Emissions Trading & Experimentation

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading has gained prominence since the early 2000s. The overarching topic for this workshop is the emergence of carbon markets in different jurisdictions and their existing and potential linkages. The driving factors for adopting emissions trading systems, their different designs, the main actors involved and the main effects and consequences will be part of the workshop discussion. Establishing a market is always accompanied by uncertainty. Its functioning cannot be predicted with entire certainty. For this reason, they can be considered experiments that produce information about successes and failures and that may need to be adjusted in cases of unanticipated events. The workshop will discuss to what extent the experiment concept is a suitable overarching framework for research in this issue area.

This fully funded workshop will bring together about 30 scholars and practitioners under the flag of the COST Action INOGOV (Innovations in Climate Governance) to discuss carbon markets, their drivers, innovation and experimentation. It aims to foster better and more integrated analytical discussions about carbon markets and how they play into the broader debate on climate policy and governance innovation. We invite social scientists from all disciplines and welcome theoretical papers and empirical studies. The aim of the workshop is to produce a set of manuscripts that form a special issue or an edited book.

Topical themes

We invite contributions that analyse how and why different jurisdictions adopted GHG emissions trading systems. This includes the identification of factors that can explain innovative adjustment of ETS to domestic preferences and contexts and the evolution of ETS over time. Papers addressing the various formal and informal connections between different ETS and the role of public and private actors are very welcome. We aim to bring together different in-depth case studies to identify global patterns of diffusion, cross-fertilisation and idiosyncratism. The workshop aim at looking at the bigger picture of an emergent, though fragmented, global web of carbon markets. It strives to investigate in greater detail the different forms of experimentation, innovation and coordination between the different existing and emergent ETS.

Papers that address the following and related questions are welcome:

  • Who adopts an ETS and who doesn’t? Can we identify adoption and non-adoption patterns?
  • How can we conceptualise the (potential) connections between the different ETS?
  • What role does diffusion play? What global patterns of diffusion, cross-fertilisation and ideosyncratism can we identify?
  • To what extent and how does the design of systems differ?
  • What is the relationship between design and effectiveness (in contributing to emissions cuts)?
  • What domestic and international factors can explain innovation, experimentation and adjustment of emissions trading?
  • What role do actors, in particular policy entrepreneurs, play in ETS innovation and experimentation?
  • What is the role of organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP, UNFCCC and ICAP?
  • What role do networks play?
  • To what extent and how well do multilateral and bilateral organisations and actors coordinated in this issue area, for instance in the case of China?
  • Can the EU ETS be considered a hub and reference point for the development of ETS’ in other jurisdictions?
  • To what extent and how is the promotion of emissions trading integrated in the bilateral aid programmes and diplomacy of states such as Germany, the UK, and the US?

The workshop aims at condensing and integrating findings so as to generate a synthesis that can contribute to both academic research and policy-making.

Practicalities and submission deadlines

The workshop will be funded under the 4 year COST Action INOGOV (IS1309 Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects) (2014-8). INOGOV will cover reasonable travel costs and accommodation of all invited authors, subject to standard COST reimbursement and eligibility rules.

Prof Michael Grubb, University College London has confirmed his participation as keynote speaker.

Interested participants/authors are invited to submit a 500-word abstract by 16 November 2015 as a first step towards full paper development. Please send your abstract to Katja Biedenkopf:

Authors will be notified of acceptance/rejection by 30 November 2015. Contributing authors are expected to submit their paper by 25 January 2016 (at the latest) to be distributed to all participants before the workshop. The drafts will intensively be debated at the workshop, which will take place on 8-9 February 2016.

Authors with specific questions are encouraged to contact either Katja Biedenkopf (, Patrick Müller (, Peter Slominski ( or Jørgen Wettestad (

Local organizers: Katja Biedenkopf ( & Sarah Van Eynde (, University of Leuven


Photo credit: Joiseyshowaa/Flickr

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