Global Carbon Job Market Booming The global carbon market is heating up at a fast and furious pace. Point Carbon predicts that the global carbon market will see 4.2 billion tons carbon emissions (CO2e) transacted during 2008, up 56% from 2007. The group also contends that carbon prices are now seen as an important factor in the operating and investment decisions of companies. According to a recent FINalternatives report, Peter Fusaro, Co-Founder of the Energy Hedge Fund Center, kicked off the Wall Street Green Trading Summit in New York City with one message for attendees: “Carbon is the new gold.” The report quotes Fusaro as saying the U.S. is entering a “carbon-constrained world” faster than anyone realizes, and the country will have to reduce its six-billion-ton carbon footprint “through innovation and markets.” Carbon trading and finance is accelerating this year due to impending climate change legislation on Capitol Hill. The global carbon market could see a significant boom in the next decade, especially if the U.S. gets involved. Executive search firm, A.E. Feldman, says banks will be scouring the global talent pool for qualified candidates in the growing carbon trading sector. Carbon Indexes Securities houses are developing products that allow companies to hedge their carbon exposure. Back in December, Barclays Capital announced the launch of the Barclays Capital Global Carbon Index (”BGCI”). The BGCI tracks the performance of carbon credits associated with the world’s major greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes. It was the first time that such an index was made available to asset managers, private banks and institutional investors looking for a comprehensive benchmark for the growing carbon emissions markets. Roughly one month later, UBS introduced its Greenhouse Index - the first integrated greenhouse index that takes into account both Carbon Emissions and Weather. Most recently, Merrill Lynch introduced a new global emissions benchmark, the MLCX Global CO2 Emissions Index, which is designed to provide investors with insight into the rapidly growing global CO2 emissions market. Abyd Karmali, Merrill’s Managing Director and Global Head of Carbon Emissions, says, “The MLCX Global Carbon emissions indices are an important addition to our growing suite of carbon finance and environmental sustainability solutions and have come in response to strong demand from our institutional, asset management, and wealth management clients who seek exposure to the rapidly growing global carbon market.” Global Carbon Market Growing Point Carbon predicts that the global carbon market will see a 56% jump this year to 4.2 billion tons carbon emissions (CO2e) transacted. At today’s prices, that would make the market worth $92 billion. Last year, markets were worth more than $60 billion, up 80% from 2006. “We expect that the general trend of increasing traded volumes will continue to expand exponentially as the global market becomes more mature and sophisticated. An increase in contract types, more players and
markets and greater competition between market players together will generate momentum for higher volumes,” says Kjetil RÃ¸ine, Manager of Point Carbon’s Carbon Market Research team. Currently, the carbon market is focused in Europe, which set up a cap-and-trade system in 2005 to comply with greenhouse gas emission limits mandated by the Kyoto Protocol. But the U.S. will be home to a $1 trillion U.S. dollar carbon emission market by 2020 if federal and state policymakers continue pursuing a comprehensive “cap-and-trade” program that is confined to domestic trading only. That’s among the findings of new research conducted by New Carbon Finance - a division of New Energy Finance - as reported by Environmental Leader. Under a “cap-and-trade” system, the federal government would ration the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that businesses emit by issuing permits. A business wanting to emit more than it is allowed may buy the right to do so from a business that emits less than its entitlement. Right now, 9 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are committed to developing a multi-state capand-trade program in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% compared to 1990 levels by 2018, under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI ). First U.S. Regional Carbon Compliance Trades In a separate report on the outlook for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) market in 2008, Point Carbon states that the first two trades of RGGI allowances were announced in the past month, establishing the first ever U.S. regional carbon compliance trades. Both trades were in the range of $5 - $10 per ton much higher than the official price estimate of $2.32 per ton. Point Carbon says the initial price signals point to the creation of a billion-plus regional carbon market. The group also concludes that by engaging in trading now, companies are gaining exposure to the markets and establishing themselves as market makers.