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Carbon price

CO2 Emission Market / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Carbon pricing (or CO2 pricing), also known as cap and trade (CAT) or emissions trading scheme (ETS), is a method for nations to reduce global warming. The cost is applied to greenhouse gas emissions in order to encourage polluters to reduce the combustion of coal, oil and gas – the main driver of climate change. The method is widely agreed[1] and considered to be efficient. Carbon pricing seeks to address the economic problem that emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) are a negative externality – a detrimental product that is not charged for by any market.

Carbon taxes and emission trading worldwide
Emission trading and carbon taxes around the world (2021)
  Carbon emission trading implemented or scheduled
  Carbon tax implemented or scheduled
  Carbon emission trading or carbon tax under consideration

A carbon price usually takes the form of a carbon tax or carbon emission trading, a requirement to purchase allowances to emit.[2][3]

21.7% of global GHG emissions are covered by carbon pricing in 2021, a major increase due to the introduction of the Chinese national carbon trading scheme.[4][5] Regions with carbon pricing include most European countries and Canada. On the other hand, top emitters like India, Russia, the Gulf states and many US states have not yet introduced carbon pricing. Australia abolished its carbon pricing scheme. In 2020, carbon pricing generated $53bn in revenue.[6]

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a price level of $135–5500 in 2030 and $245–13,000 per ton CO2 in 2050 would be needed to drive carbon emissions to stay below the 1.5°C limit.[7]

Latest models of the social cost of carbon calculate a damage of more than $3000/tCO2 as a result of economy feedbacks and falling global GDP growth rates, while policy recommendations range from about $50 to $200.[8] Many carbon pricing schemes including the ETS in China remain below $10/tCO2.[5] One exception is the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) which exceeded 100€/tCO2 ($118) in February 2023.[9]

A carbon tax is generally favoured on economic grounds for its simplicity and stability, while cap-and-trade theoretically offers the possibility to limit allowances to the remaining carbon budget. Current implementations are only designed to meet certain reduction targets.