CO2 emissions trading

Certificate prices temporarily below 10-euro mark

European trade in CO2 emission allowances is also being dominated by the recession. Production outages at energy-intensive plants brought a large number of additional emission allowances to the market. This is pushing down prices. In February, “EU Allowances” (EUAs) for 2009 were temporarily quoted at less than € 10 per metric ton of CO2. They cost € 13 at the end of September, which was also their average price in the first three quarters of 2009. By comparison, 2008 certificates cost an average of € 24 in the same period last year. “Certified Emission Reductions” (CERs) became much cheaper as well. These are certificates obtained by achieving emission reductions in developing and newly industrialising countries within the scope of the “Clean Development Mechanism.” European companies may cover domestic emissions up to a predetermined level by submitting CERs. The advantage is that the costs for these types of certificates are usually lower than the market prices of EUAs. In the period under review, CERs traded at an average of € 12 per metric ton of CO2.The comparable figure for 2008 was € 18.

Development of CO2 certificate prices in the European Emission Trading System € / metric ton of CO2

Development of CO2 certificate prices in the European emissions trading system (line chart)