Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

J. Douglass Klein




carbon, emissions, systems, trading, allowance


The release of carbon and other chemicals into the atmosphere is a growing environmental problem. The use of carbon-based processes is at an all-time high with the continued growth in carbon-fueled transportation, electric power generation and other carbon-intensive industrial processes. With climate change increasingly threatening the daily lives of Earth's population, many countries are beginning to take steps to reduce their impact on the Earth and its climate. Over the last decade, carbon markets have been established in 18 countries worldwide. While all of these emissions trading systems have similarities, each also has some unique traits, including differences in allowance prices, strategies for allowance allocation, size, and linkages to other regional systems. This research compares four specific emissions trading systems: New Zealand, the European Union, and two in the United States, weighing the successes and failures within each system and assessing the characteristics of an "ideal" system that could serve as a global emissions trading system.