Emissions trading and carbon markets

Trading-Raum der EEX -  European Energy Exchange in Leipzig.

In global efforts to combat climate change, individual states employ a variety of different measures. Market-based instruments, particularly emissions trading, are the most notable examples.

In 2013 alone, nine new emissions trading systems (ETS) were introduced across the globe; five of these were in China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Carbon markets make use of a variety of instruments: ETS, offsetting mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), or Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). These processes are either parallel or overlapping, and are being consolidated to form an international carbon market. This requires political initiatives and an economic agenda.

Analysing emissions trading and further development of new market-based mechanisms

adelphi is actively involved in a wide variety of projects in the field of emissions trading and carbon markets. In a number of different schemes, we analyse emissions trading systems and other market mechanisms across the world. This allows us to make a real contribution to the development of the international carbon market. adelphi is active on various levels and offers its clients tailor-made solutions drawing on technical expertise and excellence in planning and organisation. We consult on content, support dialogue processes, conduct training sessions and provide project management.

Some of the main challenges in this area today are the further development and inter-linking of existing and emerging ETS, as well as the enhancement of other market-based mechanisms, and their gradual combination. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), adelphi develops proposals for the advancement of new market mechanisms (NMM), and analyses how these can be harmonised with other instruments on an international level. As part of a study for the German Federal Environment Agency, adelphi examined regulations on offset certificates in various countries. Through a workshop, this information was then utilised in the CDM reform process. adelphi is also active in the area of NAMAs. On behalf of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the think tank provided valuable guidelines for developing climate protection projects and programmes in the form of a reference book of best NAMA practices.

adelphi supports ICAP and the Working Group on Emissions Trading (AGE)

In addition, adelphi provides the Secretariat of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) and has supervised the Working Group on Emissions Trading (AGE) for ten years. Both activities enable us to make a considerable contribution to the exchange of knowledge and experience in the area of emissions trading, on a national and international level. adelphi has also been commissioned by the BMU to coordinate the planning and implementation of training sessions to develop EHS in developing countries. Whether it’s moving forward a national stakeholder process, supporting bilateral cooperation, or facilitating exchange between various ETS in a multilateral context – our activities are centred on expert strategic planning for dialogue processes in the further development of the international carbon market.

Selected Projects

Selected Publications