Business game on Emissons Trading
The large difficulties involved in the implementation of emissions trading became apparent to the participants in a business game that was held at the "Europa.kult" Conference of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Although the participants could not agree on a joint National Allocation Plan at the end of the day, they gave positive feedback about the Conference. "Never have I elaborated such a complex issue in such short time with so much fun!" one of them stated.
During the business game, the participants in the forum "Emissions Trading - the best way or not?" were required to elaborate a National Allocation Plan (NAP). The NAP aims to stipulate the rules for allocating emissions certificates in European emission trading on the national level. As the NAP defines the rights of the companies that will be forced to participate in emissions trading, it is of vital interest to the industrial enterprises and energy producing companies concerned.
In order to highlight the conflicts of interest involved in the creation of the NAP by groups of companies, the 30 participants in the forum had to play the part of various energy producing companies. Supported by three experts on European emissions trading, among them Camilla Bausch of Ecologic, the fictitious companies "Fossi & Ruß AG" (carbon-based electricity production), "Strahlemann & Söhne AG" (electricity generated by nuclear power) and "OkayStrom e.G." (electricity from power-heat-coupling and regenerative resources) were to reach an agreement on the rules for the NAP and present their requirements to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation und Nuclear Safety.
On the basis of fictitious data on these companies, the three groups were first required to develop future strategies for their companies and then develop corresponding NAP rules. The representatives of the three companies then negotiated their requirements, which were determined by company-specific interests, in order to produce a joint draft of the NAP for the German Federal Ministry.
The tasks grew more and more complex, and the time available for internal discussions and external agreements was -as in real life- very restricted. Especially during joint negotiations, the potential for conflict over the design of allocation rules became evident. As in practice, on many issues the companies did not reach an agreement. For example, they took divergent positions regarding the stipulation of the base period, the approval of quotes for nuclear power and cogeneration, and the rules for so-called Early Actions. Finally, secret alliances were formed in order to strenghten the companies' own positions, which led to surprising combinations. After a representative of OkayStrom at first commented, with reference to the coal industry, that "evolution has already shown that dinosaurs are not apt for survival", in the end OkayStrom and Fossi & Ruß formed an alliance against the claims of Strahlemann und Söhne.
EUROPA.KULT took place on March 19-20, 2004 at the University of Leipzig, in cooperation
with the Institute for Political Sciences, University of Leipzig and the Europa Haus Leipzig e.V.
With its various panels and forums, the Conference offered its 180 participants the opportunity to elaborate and discuss various current issues in European policy. The Conference was organized by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and carried out under the auspices of Vaclav Havel, civil rights activist and former President of the Czech Republic.