Policy Outreach Events

EU, China & US on their way to carbon neutrality: will their implementation strategies converge?


Modern societies face many global challenges. Climate change is certainly among the most urgent and important ones. Europe has decided to address the widely diffused concern of public opinion on the effects of climate change by committing to reaching climate neutrality by 2050, an ambitious target that remains a top priority for the Von der Leyen Commission despite the difficulties raised by the COVID-19 crisis. Similar climate neutrality targets have been recently set by other jurisdictions, most notably the USA and China (the latter by 2060). The European Union can (and actually intends) to play a key leading role as regulator, negotiator and actor in the global climate challenge. While a unilateral European action will not be sufficient per se to stop global warming (as European emissions are only a relatively small part of total greenhouse gas emissions), the EU can lead the world by example in adopting more stringent climate regulations and hence influencing the others’ climate policies.

However, alternative climate policies and regulatory models might emerge at the world level possibly challenging the European leadership in the fight against climate change. Consider, for instance, the case of the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS). As it is frequently argued, the EU ETS represented a prototype for most other ETSs that have been rapidly emerging in the world. But ETSs might progressively diverge over time rather than converge towards a unique model to account for the different institutional frameworks characterising different jurisdictions. The same applies to other European climate measures and policies that might or might not fit other institutional contexts.

This raises some of the questions that will be addressed in the session, namely:

  1. What are the lessons that other jurisdictions can take from the European climate policy experience? Can/should the European experience with climate regulation be replicated in non-European contexts? If so, how? If not, why?
  2. How can other economies improve upon the European experience and how can Europe learn from others?
  3. Will the climate neutrality implementation strategies converge or diverge across different countries?
  4. Which policies will lead EU, US and China -the three main players in the global climate arena- towards the net-zero emissions target?
  5. What will be the impact of the Biden administration on international cooperation and climate policy in the years to come?
  6. Can international cooperation among Emission Trading Systems contribute to promoting a global climate policy?

EAERE Policy Outreach Committee together with FSR Climate  and in collaboration with the School of Transnational Governance of the EUI, organise this session to promote a more integrated dialogue between academia and policy world, providing advice and support to EU policy makers and institutions in designing policy interventions.

The event builds upon the successful experience of policy debates organized by FSR Climate at State of the Union since 2018 and intends to continue the policy dialogue carried out by FSR Climate under the ongoing LIFE DICET (Deepening International Cooperation on Emissions Trading) project. The project LIFE DICET focuses on the international carbon market cooperation between the EC and the regulators of other major ETSs, namely, California-Quebec, China, Switzerland and New Zealand and intends to support EU and Member State policymakers in deepening international cooperation for the development and possible integration of carbon markets at the world level.

The event chaired by Simone Borghesi (EAERE POC Secretary General) and Jos Delbeke (EAERE POC Chairman) is intended to address an audience of high-level policy makers, stakeholders and scholars such as those attending the SoU.


Supported Events

Reform of the EU ETS: does the market stability reserve need a new design?


The EU ETS is the cornerstone of the European climate policy covering about 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. It follows the polluter pays principle under a cap-and-trade mechanism, whereby firms covered by the ETS purchase, sell and exchange emissions allowances representing one tonne of CO2-eq.

Within this carbon market, the Market Stability Reserve has the objective to increase resilience to demand shocks, deliver investment signals, and raise synergies with other climate and energy policies. It consists of a rule-based mechanism that adjusts the number of allowances to be auctioned to the market surplus by controlling the number of allowances in circulation in the carbon market. The surplus of allowances determines the response of the MSR:

  • If the surplus exceeds a certain threshold, a predetermined percentage of the surplus is withheld from auctions and added to the reserve;
  • if the surplus is lower than another threshold, some allowances are taken from the reserve and injected into the market through auction.

The European Commission’s proposal for MSR Review is planned for June 2021, in the context of a broader reform of the EU ETS to include new sectors in its scope and to support the new EU pledge to reach climate neutrality by 2050. In the publication discussed during this talk, the authors argue that a new MSR design appears necessary. They identify the risks that arise from the current MSR design and propose a feasible way to address them in the upcoming review of the EU ETS.

In this event hosted by Jean-Michel GlachantSimone Borghesi will discuss with Grischa Perino and Jos Delbeke the MSR and the main findings of the paper. 


Jean-Michel Glachant, Director of the Florence School of Regulation


  • Simone Borghesi, Director of FSR Climate, European University Institute and EAERE POC Secretary General
  • Grischa Perino, Professor, University of Hamburg
  • Jos Delbeke, EIB Chair on International Carbon Markets, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute and EAERE POC Chairman

The paper:

EU ETS Market Stability Reserve needs a new design, Grischa Perino, Michael Pahle, Fabian Pause, Simon Quemin, Hannah Scheuing and Maximilian Willner, 2021

Read more:

EU Emissions Trading System, Series Cover the Basics FSR, 2021

The EU ETS needs a new autopilot: a proposed reform for the MSR, Grischa Perino, LIFE DICET Blog, 19 March 2021

The EU ETS at a crossroads: The MSR review as a defining moment, Michael Pahle and Simon Quemin, LIFE DICET Blog, 19 June 2020

Emissions trading systems with different price control mechanisms: implications for linking – Report for the Carbon Market Policy Dialogue, Giulio Galdi, Stefano F. Verde, Simone Borghesi, Jürg Füssler, Ted Jamieson, Emily Wimberger, Li Zhou, Florence School of Regulation – Climate, LIFE DICET Project, 2020


Live interviews with experts from the broader network of the school to showcase and discuss a recent work (a book just published, exciting study, innovative project) in a light and interactive way.

Hosts: Prof. Jean-Michel GlachantIlaria ContiSwetha Baghw



Workshop “CERCIS in Bloom – Circular Economy and Transition”

Prospective presenters are invited to submit a long abstract (min 500 words) or a draft paper to cercis@unife.it by 31st March 2021. Please include a cover page with your name, title, affiliation, mail address. Submitted papers will be evaluated and a decision acceptance or refusal will be provided without additional motivation by 10th April 2021. Presenters should be registered (via mail) by 15th April 2021.

Deadlines and Participation
31st March 2021 submission of draft papers/long abstract
10th April 2021 notification of acceptance
15th April 2021 registration

Participation is free of charge, but registration is compulsory.

Please address any inquires to cercis@unife.it


VIU Summer School Science Diplomacy: Improving Capacity of Science to Inform Policy

Science Diplomacy is a tool that recognizes Science as a process for pursuing evidence and Diplomacy as a process for dialogue and cooperation between different stakeholders. In our increasingly interconnected world, there is a growing need for science diplomacy as we are confronted by issues concerning agriculture or trade, automation or cryptocurrencies, peace & security, global health pandemics, and climate change, among many other complex challenges.

For further information https://www.univiu.org/study/summer-schools/science-diplomacy