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Carbon Markets: Past, Present, and Future


  • Newell, Richard G.
  • Pizer, William A.
  • Raimi, Daniel


Carbon markets are substantial and they are expanding. There are many lessons from experiences over the past eight years -- fewer free allowances, better management of market-sensitive information, and a recognition that trading systems require adjustments that have consequences for market participants and market confidence. Moreover, the emerging international architecture features separate emissions trading systems serving distinct jurisdictions. These programs are complemented by a variety of other types of policies alongside the carbon markets. This sits in sharp contrast to the integrated global trading architecture envisioned 15 years ago by the designers of the Kyoto Protocol and raises a suite of new questions. In this new architecture, jurisdictions with emissions trading have to decide how, whether, and when to link with one another, and policymakers overseeing carbon markets must confront how to measure the comparability of efforts among markets and relative to a variety of other policy approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A. & Raimi, Daniel, 2012. "Carbon Markets: Past, Present, and Future," Discussion Papers dp-12-51, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-51

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burtraw, Dallas & Evans, David A., 2009. "Tradable rights to emit air pollution," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(1), March.
    2. Lambert Richard Schneider, 2011. "Perverse incentives under the CDM: an evaluation of HFC-23 destruction projects," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 851-864, March.
    3. Ellerman,A. Denny & Convery,Frank J. & de Perthuis,Christian With contributions by-Name:Alberola,Emilie With contributions by-Name:Buchner,Barbara K. With contributions by-Name:Delbosc,Anaïs, 2010. "Pricing Carbon," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521196475, March.
    4. Marius-Cristian Frunza & Dominique Guegan & Fabrice Thiebaut, 2010. "Missing trader fraud on the emissions market," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10071, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    5. Harrison Fell & Richard Morgenstern, 2010. "Alternative Approaches to Cost Containment in a Cap-and-Trade System," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 275-297, October.
    6. Dallas Burtraw & David A. Evans, 2009. "Tradable rights to emit air pollution ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(1), pages 59-84, January.
    7. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Qi, Shaozhou & Wang, Banban & Zhang, Jihong, 2014. "Policy design of the Hubei ETS pilot in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 31-38.
    2. Koch, Nicolas & Fuss, Sabine & Grosjean, Godefroy & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2014. "Causes of the EU ETS price drop: Recession, CDM, renewable policies or a bit of everything?—New evidence," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 676-685.
    3. Koch, Nicolas & Grosjean, Godefroy & Fuss, Sabine & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2016. "Politics matters: Regulatory events as catalysts for price formation under cap-and-trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 121-139.
    4. Yeo, Boon-Ling & Anastasiadis, Simon & Kerr, Suzi & Browne, Oliver, 2012. "Synergies between Nutrient Trading Scheme and the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in the Lake Rotorua Catchment," 2012 Conference, August 31, 2012, Nelson, New Zealand 144270, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    5. Arif, Faisal & Dissou, Yazid, 2016. "Regional burden sharing of GHG mitigation policies in a decentralized federation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 390-399.

    More about this item


    carbon market; tradable permit; allowance; climate change; greenhouse gas;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation

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