2011 may have been the peak of global carbon trading. Since then, the carbon price has collapsed by half.
Global Carbon Market trading climbed to $176 billion in 2011 according to the The World Bank, which has just released it’s annual State and Trends of The Carbon Market in 2012. That makes it about the same value as total global wheat production — which supplies about 20% of the calories consumed by the 7 billion people on planet Earth.
The global carbon market disguises itself as an angel against the greedy corporates. Yet it is, itself, a giant corporate playing field. The mainstream media remains largely silent on the “vested interests” represented by this major industry that did not even exist 10 years ago.
Was 2011 the peak of global carbon trading? Looks all downhill from here.
A record number of emissions products were traded in 2011, even though prices of EU carbon permits and international offsets fells well below $10 a tonne late in the year. The prices have fallen, but the volumes have increased. Look out, the average price in 2011 was $18.80US, but the prices in 2012 are less than half that. It will take a monster increase in volumes in 2012 to keep raising the total market value.
The Global Carbon Market was still growing in 2011, but not exponentially like it was from 2005 – 2009. The bad news (for carbon traders) is about to hit the fan in the next report in 2013. There is a hint of it in the page announcing the report: “the market for primary CDM has dropped to its lowest level since 2004.”