Sale of Quotas for Greenhouse Gas Emissions as a Type Civil Sale and Purchase Contract

AutoreAleksey Anisimov, Olga Popova
CaricaKutafin Moscow State Law University/I. Kant Baltic Federal University
1 A
& E
Received: 02 Sep. 2021 | Accepted: 08 Dec. 2021 | Published: 07 July 2022
Sale of Quotas for Greenhouse Gas Emissions as a Type Civil
Sale and Purchase Contract
* & O
*Aleksey Anisimov, SJD, is Professor at the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources
Law at the Kutafin Moscow State Law University (Russian Federation).
**Olga Popova is SJD candidate and Associate Professor at the Department of Business Law at the
I. Kant Baltic Federal University (Russian Federation).
@* **
ID*0000-0003-3988-2066 **0000-0001-6784-1101
The article examines the emergence, development and current legal regulation of the sale and
purchase agreement and reveals the place of sale of quotas for greenhouse gas emissions in the
system of civil contracts. The character of the sale of emission of quotas between states is
considered, as well as the legal nature of the quota sale (in carbon units) contract in the
framework of national jurisdictions. The authors conclude that the term “quota” means a
quantitative limitation of greenhouse gas (G.H.G.) emissions, which should be understood as
gaseous waste (G.W.), which has not received clear regulation in the national (Russian) law.
Recognition of G.W. as a kind of industrial waste will make it possible to better understand and
explain its legal nature, and directly the alienation of a certain amount (quota) of G.W. within the
framework of civil legislation is the conclusion of a contract of sale of property rights belonging
to the owner of another business entity for a fee and for a certain period.
Climate; Contract; Emissions; Greenhouse Gases; Quota
Introduction ............................................ 42
1. The History of the Development of the Sale and Purchase Contract in the World and in
Russia .............................................. 43
2. Types of Purchase andSale Agreements in Modern Civil Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3. Climate Change and the Role of the Paris Climate Agreement in the Emergence of New
Forms and Methods of Combating GreenhouseGases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
4. Greenhouse Gas [hereinafter G.H.G.] Emission Quotas Sale and Purchase Agreement:
Subject, Parties and Other Features of Legal Regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.1. Public Law Background for the Sale ofG.H.G. Emission Quotas . . . . . . . . . . 53
4.2. PrivateLaw Featuresof the Sale ofG.H.G. Emission Quotas . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Conclusion ............................................. 65
Civil law is one of the most important branches of law in the modern world. After
thousands of years of history, modern civil law can boast of various contractual patterns,
both strong enough to be tested by time and weak enough to vanish without leaving
trace. In the current system of civil contracts, the sale and purchase contract occupies a
special place. Having emerged in the early stages of the state - and thus of the legal
system, it has undergone a long evolution, during which it showed its viability, entering
the civil codes of all modern states of the world. Of course, throughout all historical eras,
there can be no question of any single legal regulation of sale and purchase, but at the
moment the general trend in most developed countries shows a gradual understanding
that globalisation and digitalisation of public life cannot but contact the scope of
contract law.
Another question is how the state and society should respond to these challenges.
There can hardly be a universal answer to this question.
In our opinion, the answer is necessarily linked to national legal traditions, the
level of economic development, cultural and religious characteristics of certain countries
- and sometimes the very historical course of development of a particular state and of
its legal system. In this sense, Russia and other former Soviet republics are of particular
interest due to a unique model of economic reforms associated with the transition from a
planned economy to a market economy, which entails “catch-up development” on many
issues, including contract law. At the same time, it seems that the law, despite its natural
conservatism, should not always only react to emerging social relations which require
some regulation. The predictive function of law expects the study and forecast of the
development in various spheres of public relations, and it requires an early legal impact
on them, this is in the interests of the state and society. One of such promising areas of the
legal institution of sale and purchase is the trading of quotas for greenhousegas emissions,
which has officially been recognised by the United Nations [hereinafter U.N.] Framework
Convention on Climate Change 1992 with the Kyoto Protocol (1997). This was the first
time that the UN has ever proposed a non-standard approach to solving the problems
associated with climate change and with the increasing of average annual temperatures.
The authors of the Kyoto Protocol assumed that the countries produced differentamounts
of greenhouse gases which are harmful to the atmosphereand climate, and therefore, they
could sell part of such quotas to other countries, thereby reducing the total amount of
emissions on a global scale.

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