European Union carbon dioxide allowances surged to a record of EUR 43.14 per ton in intraday trading today. The price of the permits has increased by as much as 32.4% in 2021 and almost 16 times since the all-time low, registered on April 17, 2013.
European Union allowances (EUAs) have been posting record prices since December 2020, when they climbed above EUR 30 and topped the record from June 2008.
According to Bloomberg, the latest all-time highs were reached as speculators bet on stricter policies to meet emission reduction goals and the demand from industrial buyers for pollution rights.
EUAs are part of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Introduced in 2005, they represent the world’s first and biggest carbon market.
The European Commission is currently revising the EU ETS
EU ETS limits emissions from more than 11,000 heavy energy-using installations including power and industrial plants, and airlines. It covers around 40% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.
To achieve a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and the target net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% by 2030, the European Commission is currently revising the EU ETS.
The EU needs to analyze the impact of investor speculation on the market
The current rally kicked off when there was less supply in the market than normal because the EU delayed the start of auctions to sell permits. Even after auctions resumed, market rates continued up, driven in part by speculation from hedge funds, Bloomberg has reported.
The carbon price rally has caught the attention of the EU, as the pace of gains cause concerns it would hurt the competitiveness of the domestic industry.
The EU needs to analyze the impact of investor speculation on the market in its planned overhaul of the market later this year, Denmark’s Climate Minister Dan Jorgensen said.