Emissions Trading sees rapid development worldwide

The International Carbon Action Partnership’s (ICAP) Status Report 2015 showcases the success of emissions trading systems (ETS) around the world.

There are now 17 distinct ETS in force across four continents. This year also represents a significant milestone for emissions trading.

Not only has the Republic of Korea launched their national ETS in January, but China is also taking bold steps in the development of their national carbon market, expected as early as 2016.  Current systems are also maturing and expanding, playing an ever greater role in the fight against climate change. In a world first, California and Québec linked their carbon markets in 2014, and with the inclusion of the transport sector in January their linked system became the world’s third largest.

A decade following the launch of the world’s first major ETS in the European Union, jurisdictions with emissions trading now account for 40% of global GDP.

Looking for a pattern of success of the ETS, one central aspect comes into mind: “Flexibility is certainly one reason why emissions trading has become such an appealing tool for policymakers”, state ICAP Co-Chairs, Jean-Yves Benoit, head of carbon markets at the Québec Environmental Ministry, and Marc Allessie, head of the Dutch Emissions Authority. “The ICAP Status Report 2015 showcases the great diversity of economic and political contexts in which ETS has been applied.” As of 2015, there are systems operating in jurisdictions that vary largely in their geographical scope, economic profile and energy mix. Indeed, when it comes to ETS, there is no one-size-fits-all approach”