Carbon Market Value Expands to $34 Billion as Korea Joins

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The value of global carbon permits expanded to $34 billion in the past year, with gains led by South Korea, California and Quebec, the World Bank said.

Permits aimed at reducing greenhouse gases were worth 6.3 percent more than the $32 billion a year earlier, the Washington-based lender said Tuesday in an e-mailed report compiled with Ecofys International BV. With taxes of $14 billion, the total value of such carbon pricing programs is $48 billion, the bank said.

Markets now cover 12 percent of global emissions, up from 4 percent in 2005, when the European Union began what’s now the world’s biggest program. The bloc is seeking an accord by July on curbing an oversupply that will remain beyond 2020. EU carbon prices slid 67 percent since the end of 2007, according to data from ICE Futures Europe on Bloomberg.

“There is a growing sense of inevitability to put a price on carbon,” Rachel Kyte, World Bank group vice president and special envoy for climate change, said in a statement. “In the last year, we’ve seen Chile and Mexico join the ranks of countries, cities and states.”

Ecofys is an environmental research company based in Utrecht, Netherlands, with clients including the European Commission and the U.K. government.

December carbon allowances dropped 1.8 percent to 7.26 euros ($7.91) a metric ton, the lowest since April 27, by the close on ICE in London.

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