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On the Realized Volatility of the ECX CO2 Emissions 2008 Futures Contract: Distribution, Dynamics and Forecasting


  • Julien Chevallier

    (Imperial College London)

  • Benoît Sévi

    (University of Angers (GRANEM) and LEMNA)


The recent implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in January 2005 created new financial risks for emitting firms. To deal with these risks, options are traded since October 2006. Because the EU ETS is a new market, the relevant underlying model for option pricing is still a controversial issue. This article improves our understanding of this issue by characterizing the conditional and unconditional distributions of the realized volatility for the 2008 futures contract in the European Climate Exchange (ECX), which is valid during Phase II (2008-2012) of the EU ETS. The realized volatility measures from naive, kernel-based and subsampling estimators are used to obtain inferences about the distributional and dynamic properties of the ECX emissions futures volatility. The distribution of the daily realized volatility in logarithmic form is shown to be close to normal. The mixture-of-distributions hypothesis is strongly rejected, as the returns standardized using daily measures of volatility clearly departs from normality. A simplified HAR-RV model (Corsi, 2009) with only a weekly component, which reproduces long memory properties of the series, is then used to model the volatility dynamics. Finally, the predictive accuracy of the HAR-RV model is tested against GARCH specifications using one-step-ahead forecasts, which confirms the HAR-RV superior ability. Our conclusions indicate that (i) the standard Brownian motion is not an adequate tool for option pricing in the EU ETS, and (ii) a jump component should be included in the stochastic process to price options, thus providing more efficient tools for risk-management activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Chevallier & Benoît Sévi, 2009. "On the Realized Volatility of the ECX CO2 Emissions 2008 Futures Contract: Distribution, Dynamics and Forecasting," Working Papers 2009.113, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2009.113

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    Cited by:

    1. Rittler, Daniel, 2009. "Price Discovery, Causality and Volatility Spillovers in European Union Allowances Phase II: A High Frequency Analysis," Working Papers 0492, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    2. Julien Chevallier, 2010. "Modelling the convenience yield in carbon prices using daily and realized measures," Working Papers halshs-00463921, HAL.
    3. Segnon, Mawuli & Lux, Thomas & Gupta, Rangan, 2017. "Modeling and forecasting the volatility of carbon dioxide emission allowance prices: A review and comparison of modern volatility models," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 692-704.
    4. Rittler, Daniel, 2012. "Price discovery and volatility spillovers in the European Union emissions trading scheme: A high-frequency analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 774-785.
    5. Oscar Carchano & Vicente Medina Martínez & Ángel Pardo Tornero, 2012. "Rolling over EUAs and CERs," Working Papers. Serie AD 2012-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    6. Reckling, Dennis, 2016. "Variance risk premia in CO2 markets: A political perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 345-354.
    7. Chevallier, Julien, 2013. "Variance risk-premia in CO2 markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 598-605.
    8. Chevallier, Julien, 2011. "Nonparametric modeling of carbon prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1267-1282.
    9. Zhu, Bangzhu & Han, Dong & Wang, Ping & Wu, Zhanchi & Zhang, Tao & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2017. "Forecasting carbon price using empirical mode decomposition and evolutionary least squares support vector regression," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 521-530.
    10. Viteva, Svetlana & Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia V. & Campbell, Kevin, 2014. "The forecasting accuracy of implied volatility from ECX carbon options," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 475-484.

    More about this item


    CO2 Price; Realized Volatility; HAR-RV; GARCH; Futures Trading; Emissions Markets; EU ETS; Intraday data; Forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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