A European Union carbon dioxide emissions trading market has been launched, aimed at reducing gases which cause global warming. The scheme developed under the European Climate Change Programme should enable EU member states to limit pollution in line with their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. For financial intermediaries this provides a new source for commissions.
Twelve thousand industrial installations are covered by an electronic registries system, which will keep track of the ownership of emission allowances as they change hands in the market. At the present rate of around ten euros per ton, the market is estimated to be worth about five billion euros over the next two years, but could go way higher. Countries have quotas allocated by the European Commission. The trading scheme will allow EU companies which invest in clean-up technology to build up credit of pollution that they avoid.