006Future measures aimed to curb CO2 emissions

Blue sky Policy Alert 006

FP7 themes health agro ict nano energy environment transport ssh space security
ERA goals mobility infrastucture rtd institutions knowledge sharing  joint programming  cooperation 
Author(s)Joe Ravetz, Rafael Popper, Rob Ashworth, Thordis Sveinsdottir
Contributor(s)David Alexander, Joe Ballantyne, Alastair Brown, Steve Connor, Tony Diggle, Pierre Rossel, Anna Sacio
ManifestationGradual development
Potential impacts in Europe
people's lives
legislation & regulation
economy & business
defence & security
government & politics
environment & ecosystems
science & technology
Importance for EUMajor
Strategic attentionby 2030 Minor  by 2050 Moderate
Type of impactExtremely positive
Inspired byBrainstorming session and group discussions in the iKNOW Workshop in Manchester (February 2010)
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Future measures aimed to curb CO2 emissions

Research topic

(e.g. CO2 taxation and CO2 credit scheme)

International response to the grand challenge of climate change has aimed to find ways of curbing CO2 emissions by way of taxation and credit schemes. Knowledge is however needed regarding the future impact and success of these initiatives. There are current concerns that criminal elements might see an opportunity in CO2 credit exchange and that businesses and governments might seek to evade CO2 taxation.



The research should focus, by using methods of foresight, on whether CO2 credit trading and CO2 taxation could potentially lead to the development of criminal activity such as the formation of a CO2 ‘black economy’ or CO2 tax evasion havens. Research could examine current trends in CO2 curbing measures and consider whether alternative energy technology could be more successful in minimizing CO2 emissions. Research could also look towards whether an incentive scheme for businesses and individuals could prove a better solution than CO2 credit schemes and taxation.


Expected impact

The research shall a) aim to predict the future of CO2 curbing measures; b) suggest whether alternative solutions (e.g. incentive) could be more successful; c) predict the likelihood of a formation of ‘carbon black economy’ or CO2 tax evasion; d) suggest policy, regulative and legislative responses.


Importance for Europe

Knowledge of future impact of measures that aim to curb CO2 emissions is vital for the successful continuation of environmental policy in Europe. It is vital that research underpins any policy response from the EU. Unified regulation is also necessary and EU needs to take initiative to formulate a response should CO2 curbing measures such as CO2 credit scheme or CO2 taxing become a platform for criminal activity. EU policy could then provide blueprint for any policy response from the member states.


Disclaimer: The wild card presented in this brief may not happen at all or in the near future. iKNOW is a new EU funded research project aimed to explore surprising events (wild cards) and emerging issues (weak signals) potentially shaping or shaking the future of Europe and the world.
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