2013 saw rapid expansion of carbon trading schemes

24 February 2014

Beijing: 2013 was a crucial year for global carbon trading schemes, with nine new emissions trading schemes (ETS) launched worldwide. Since 2005, when the EU launched the first carbon trading scheme, no year has seen such a high number of programmes introduced.

The Emissions Trading Worldwide: ICAP Status Report 2014, released by the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), notes that five of the nine new emissions trading schemes were established across China, a positive development which could indicate a commitment to introduce a national ETS.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, commenting on the launch of carbon trading markets in Beijing and Shanghai last November, stated: "The new carbon markets offer big opportunity for business in 2014. While there are still challenges ahead for China, the regional carbon markets could set the foundations for a strong national carbon trading market that would be the biggest in the world - and that would help transform China’s economic development towards strong, sustainable, green growth.”

The four other emissions trading schemes which were set up in 2013 are in the United States, Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Canada. Three further schemes are set to be introduced in 2014-2015, which will raise the total number of operational ETS to 16 by the end of 2015.

The ICAP, which is based in Lisbon, emphasized the growing popularity of carbon trading markets and highlighted that countries such as Turkey and Chile, are considering adopting trading schemes. In addition, the multilateral forum for carbon abatement anticipates that by 2015 the share of emissions covered under the ETS will rise by 70% on its 2005 level.

The report reviews the experiences of countries with existing trading schemes and states that there has been a lack of harmonization across countries. The ICAP recognizes that “there is no one-size-fits-all answer”. The authors counsel that when governments are deciding the scope of the ETS the focus should include “the largest emitting sectors in a given jurisdiction and the available abatement options”. A global carbon market will emerge “from the bottom up, building on a multitude of systems that do not follow one blueprint”.

Read more:

Global carbon markets to rise to $62.5 billion in 2014

China to launch two critical carbon markets next week

Carbon price in China’s first trading market overtakes EU's ETS

By Alana Ryan



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