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Europe’s Carbon Price Has Almost Tripled in 2021

  • The cost of permits has increased more than 140% this year
  • Stricter EU climate goals and burning coal are boosting prices
A lignite-fired power station beyond a conveyor bridge at the open-cast lignite mine in Jaenschwalde, Germany.

A lignite-fired power station beyond a conveyor bridge at the open-cast lignite mine in Jaenschwalde, Germany.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
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European carbon futures rose above 80 euros ($90.272) a ton on Friday for the first time, testing the resolve of politicians who are promising to act aggressively on climate change while grappling with inflation that’s tearing into economies across the globe.

The cost of polluting has increased more than 140% this year after a stricter environmental agenda in Europe was laid out and a sweeping rally in natural gas prices made dirtier coal more economic to use for power generation. The futures price rose as much as 0.7% Friday to 80.42 euros a metric ton on ICE Endex in Amsterdam, before turning negative.