The emissions trading paradox
This article considers the price history of CO2 allowances in the EU Emission Trading Scheme. Since European Emissions Trading started in 2005, the prices of allowances have varied between less than one and thirty Euro per ton of CO2. This previously unpredicted volatility and, more notably, a significant price crash in May 2005 led to the hypothesis that electricity producers might use their market power to influence the prices of allowances. Besides market power, the combination of information asymmetry and price interdependencies (between prices of primary goods - especially electricity - and allowances) plays an important role in explaining the emissions trading paradox. The model presented will show that banking can lead to such a price crash if market participators act rationally. Furthermore, in such a scenario banking can be profitable for sellers at the cost of buyers.
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