The European Union's main tool in the fight against global warming - the emissions trading scheme (ETS) � has been hailed by environmental economists as a remarkable success, despite its wobbly start. In a new journal � the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy � the environmental economists said the EU scheme was "by far the most significant accomplishment in climate policy to date," adding that "it will be central to future global climate negotiations." They said that "the EU ETS is an ambitious effort by the EU to correct for the market failure that surrounds climate change, and to deliver the EU's commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol" � the international deal to cut CO2 by 8 percent below 1990-levels by 2012. The seven economists behind the positive report are from both EU and US universities as well as environmental organisations. The emissions trading scheme - set up in 2005 - allows industrial polluters to buy and sell pollution allowances and was the first of its kind in the world. But the scheme has been blighted by the actions of national governments, who either handed in their national allocation plans to the commission too late or were too generous in their allowances to domestic industry. The project has also been criticised for its weak limits on CO2 emissions and for allowing too much use of imported credits, seeing the price drop from highs of about �30/tonne of CO2 to �11 before ending last year at about �7, according to the Financial Times.