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Global Carbon Market Report 2020

Download the 2020 annual review of carbon markets from Refinitiv showcasing the main trends in global emission trading systems.

Our annual review of carbon markets present our assessment of the major global carbon markets, showcasing the main trends in global emission trading systems and areas where such systems are emerging.

We collect data from official sources – most notably carbon trading platforms such as ICE, EEX, KRX, and the Chinese carbon exchanges – and, where relevant, estimate the size of bilateral (over-the-counter) transactions, to give us an estimate of the actual volume traded.

Refinitiv Carbon Market Survey 2020

Confidence in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has increased, becoming the most important driver in tackling carbon emissions. Belief in the climate policies of European nation-states subsequently comes out less significant in the eyes of respondents.

  • 43% of survey respondents now see the EU ETS as the most important driver of emission abatement in the years to come – up from 35% in 2019.
  • Confidence in national climate policies has been hit. Last year 43% saw national policies as the most important, in 2020 this share dropped to 27%.
  • All post-coronavirus lockdown respondents anticipate a fall in prices below €25/t for 2020 and beyond, however, coronavirus is unlikely to impact reform plans.
  • Broad support for environmental, social and governance initiatives such as offsetting.

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Look back

Catch-up with our previous annual reviews of carbon markets

Review of Carbon Markets: 2019 overview

World emission markets grew in value in 2019, but declined in traded volumes:

  • The total value of global carbon markets grew a solid 34 percent year-on-year in 2019 on higher prices and steady traded volume. Traded volume reached 8.7 billion tonnes (Gt) of emission allowances, down 4 percent from 9.1 Gt in 2018.
  • We estimate the total value of these transactions to be in the order of €194 billion. The modest drop in volume was far outweighed by the strong rise in prices, particularly in the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), where EUAs stayed close to €25/t during the year. That was €9/t higher on average compared to the previous year.
  • The Market Stability Reserve (MSR), withholding significant amounts of EUAs, was the underlying supportive factor to the year’s elevated carbon prices, having come into effect 1 January 2019.

Key content

Covers main regions

Covers the main regions in which there are existing or emerging emission markets: Europe, North America, China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia.

CDM and aviation emissions

Includes clean development mechanism (CDM) markets and developments toward the future international offset market for aviation emissions.

Market Stability Reserve (MSR)

Examines the impact of the supply-tightening measure known as MSR.