An Options Pricing Approach for CO2 Allowances in the EU ETS
If firms are unable to fully control their emissions, the cap in a permit market may be exceeded. Using stochastic aggregate emissions as the underlying I derive an options pricing formula that expresses the permit price as a function of the penalty for noncompliance and the probability of a binding cap. I apply my model to the EU ETS, where rapid market setup made it difficult for firms to adjust their production technology in time for phase 1. The model fits the data well, implying that the permit price was driven by firms hedging against stochastic emissions rather than marginal abatement costs.
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