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Global carbon markets value surged to record $851 billion in 2021

Updated: Feb 6

31 January, 2022 The value of traded global markets for carbon dioxide (CO2) permits grew by 164% to a record 760 billion euros ($851 billion) last year. Most of the increase came from the European Union's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which launched in 2005 and is the world's most established carbon market. It accounted for 90% of the global value at 683 billion euros, the annual Refinitiv Carbon Market Year in Review showed.


Prices in the EU ETS ended 2021 at more than 80 euros a tonne, more than double the price at the end of 2020, on expectations that a more ambitious EU climate target of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 would lead to a tighter market.


The two regional carbon markets in North America - the Western Climate Initiative and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative - grew by 6% last year combined to around 49 billion euros. Permits in those schemes rose in price by 70% over the course of last year and traded volumes also hit record highs because the caps on the schemes are much tighter through 2030 than to the end of 2020.