Concluding Remarks and the Road Ahead

In Jon Birger Skjærseth and Per Ove Eikeland (eds), Corporate Responses to EU Emissions Trading: Resistance, Innovation or Responsibility? Farnham (UK), Ashgate, 2013, pp. 283-291.

The chapter first summarise main findings. A first conclusion is that all companies and sectors studied have adopted more proactive strategies with innovative elements. Second, cooperation between companies on low-carbon innovation has increased. Third, the most significant aggregate changes can be observed in the electric power industry, which has embarked on a joint strategy of de-cabonising energy supply in Europe by 2050. Fourth, the ETS has affected these changes significantly. Fifth, the EU ETS affects strategies through different mechanisms: regulatory pressure creating incentives for cost-cutting and triggering attention, experimentation, learning and investment in low-carbon solutions outside business-as-usual for companies. As to variation between companies, a tentative conclusion is that innovative responses seem most likely for those exposed to limited international competition, that have inherited a technology base suitable for low-carbon solutions, have strong dynamic management capabilities and enjoy supportive and enabling national contexts. The chapters ends with a brief discussion about whether the EU ETS has been appropriately designed so as to drive long-term de-carbonization in Europe.