Cooperative Emissions Trading Game: International Permit Market Dominated by Buyers (Keita HONJO)

Information of Paper

Keita HONJO,
Associate Reseracher

Author:Keita HONJO
Title of Journal:PLOS ONE(Accepted in June of 2015) 


Rapid reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is required to mitigate disastrous impacts of climate change. The Kyoto Protocol introduced international emissions trading (IET) to accelerate the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The IET controls CO2 emissions through the allocation of marketable emission permits to sovereign countries. The costs for acquiring additional permits provide buyers with an incentive to reduce their CO2 emissions. However, permit price has declined to a low level during the first commitment period (CP1). The downward trend in permit price is attributed to deficiencies of the Kyoto Protocol: weak compliance enforcement, the generous allocation of permits to transition economies (hot air), and the withdrawal of the US. These deficiencies created a buyer's market dominated by price-making buyers. In this paper, I develop a coalitional game of the IET, and demonstrate that permit buyers have dominant bargaining power. In my model, called cooperative emissions trading (CET) game, a buyer purchases permits from sellers only if the buyer forms a coalition with the sellers. Permit price is determined by bargaining among the coalition members. I evaluated the demand-side and supply-side bargaining power (DBP and SBP) using Shapley value, and obtained the following results: (1) Permit price is given by the product of the buyer's willingness-to-pay and the SBP (=1-DBP). (2) The DBP is greater than or equal to the SBP. These results indicate that buyers can suppress permit price to low levels through bargaining. The deficiencies of the Kyoto Protocol enhance the DBP, and contribute to the demand-side dominance in the international permit market.

Figure 1: Mathematical equation of permit price. Permit price decreases as the demand-side bargaining power (DBP) increases.
Figure 2: Demand-side bargaining power (DBP) in the international permit market. Japan was a dominant buyer under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.