Global Carbon Account 2019

12 May 2019 - Climate Brief

I4CE’s 2019 Global Carbon Accounts present the main trends in the implementation of global carbon pricing policies in 2019.


5 key trends in 2019


  1. As of May 1, 2019, 25 carbon taxes and 26 Emissions Trading Schemes (ETS) were operating worldwide. The jurisdictions covered by one or more explicit carbon price account for around 60% of global GDP.
  2. Carbon prices are making headway globally despite local setbacks. In Canada, provincial elections in Ontario and Alberta led to rolling back provincial pricing schemes; at the same time, the pan-Canadian backstop is being implemented countrywide on all provinces that do not have their own pricing scheme. In France, the yellow vest protests prompted the government to freeze the carbon tax at its current rate of USD 51, yet the tax was not rolled back. The year 2020 shall see Mexico and China ETSs start operations with actual positive prices.
  3. Carbon pricing mechanisms generated USD 45 billion (EUR 40 billion) in revenues in 2018, up from USD 32 billion in 2017 and USD 22 billion in 2016. This increase is mostly due to a rise in EU ETS prices, from below USD 10 until 2018 to above USD 25 lately.
  4. In 2018, 52% of carbon pricing revenues came from carbon taxes. Carbon revenues are mostly channeled to the general budget, or earmarked for environmental purposes.
  5. More than 75% of emissions regulated by carbon pricing are still covered by a price below USD 10 (EUR 8). To stay on the 2°C trajectory while sustaining economic growth, the High-Level Commission on carbon prices led by economists Stern and Stiglitz recommends carbon prices between USD 40 and USD 80 per ton of CO2 by 2020, and between USD 50 and USD 100 per ton of CO2 by 2030.
Global Carbon Account 2019 Download
To learn more
  • 09/21/2022
    Global carbon accounts in 2022

    Carbon revenues were nearly USD 100 billion in 2021. This represents a more than 80% increase year-on-year (USD 53.1 billion in 2020, USD 97.7 billion in 2021). This increase is largely driven by the rise in allowance prices on the European carbon market, which exceeded the symbolic threshold of EUR 100/tCO2 for the first time in the summer of 2022.

  • 10/21/2021
    Global Carbon Accounts in 2021

    Explicit carbon pricing systems – a tax or a carbon market – continue to develop around the world. In the 2021 edition of its Global Carbon Accounts, I4CE presents the main trends and provides an overview of these public policies …

  • 05/15/2020 Op-ed
    Op-ed I The European carbon market put to the test by Covid

    The current economic crisis has caused a drop in the price on the European carbon market (or EU ETS for European Union Emissions Trading System) and will contribute to the increase in the surplus of allowances. This highlights how necessary it is to reform the mechanism for managing this surplus or even to implement a floor price. However, for Charlotte Vailles from I4CE and Nicolas Berghmans from IDDRI, this crisis should lead us to consider the EU ETS no longer as the “cornerstone” of decarbonisation in Europe, but as a safety net.

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