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Global Carbon Market Prices Drops 38% in 2013

Global carbon markets’ value dropped 38 percent to 38.4 billion euros ($52.9 billion) in 2013, according to analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.

Reuters reports prices dropped in the main European Union and United Nations carbon markets. The news agency says, according to analysts, the value of carbon permits and credits traded was down from 62 billion euros ($84 billion) in 2012 and 96 billion euros ($130 billion) in 2011. During the same two-year period, benchmark EU carbon permit prices fell to 5 euros ($7) per metric ton from 18 euros ($25).

Volume also dropped, with 9.2 billion emission units changing hands compared to 10.7 billion in 2012. Reuters says this is the first decrease in turnover since 2010.

The only carbon markets to grow in volume and price over 2013 were those in North America. Point Carbon’s Olga Chistyakova tells Reuters that the market spanning California and Quebec now has the highest permit prices in the world, at $10.71 per metric ton.

California and Quebec linked their cap-and-trade programs Jan. 1 and are slated to hold a joint auction later this year.

California companies paid about $297 million to release carbon emissions at the state’s most recent cap-and-trade auction in November. The state’s fifth auction sold all 16.6 carbon allowances, with firms including Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical paying $11.48 per allowance to release 1 metric ton of carbon as early as 2013. An additional 9.6 million permits that can’t be used until 2016 sold at $11.10 each.

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