The Chicago Climate Futures Exchange offered its first exchange-traded Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative contracts last week, Reuters reports. The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. launches a similar futures contract on Aug. 24.
The CCX exchange traded 60 lots of emissions allowances under the RGGI scheme on Friday, equivalent to 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
RGGI is made up of 10 northeastern states and is seen as precursor to a federal U.S. carbon market. The initiative is expected to go online in September.
Deutsche analysts told Reuters that a carbon price of $52 or more is needed to drive utilities to shift substantially from coal to lower carbon-emitting natural gas. However, the CCX contracts settled at $5.58 per ton of avoided CO2 emissions last week.