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: the countries that have adopted them, the sectors covered, the price levels, the revenues generated and what is being done with them. Find all this information in graphics.



The 4 trends of 2021

  1. As of October 1st, 2021, 47 jurisdictions (countries, provinces, or cities) are operating a carbon pricing scheme (carbon tax and/or an Emissions Trading System (ETS)). Together, they account for around 60% of global gross domestic product (GDP). Over the past year, two G20 countries have implemented an explicit price on carbon: China and Germany.
  2. Carbon pricing schemes generated USD 56.8 billion (EUR 49 billion) over the FY 2020-2021; a significant increase compared with the previous fiscal year (USD 48 billion). 52% of this revenue stems from carbon taxes. The other 48% of revenue comes from ETS auctions. These carbon revenues are mostly directed to national general budgets or are earmarked for specific environmental or development projects.
  3. As of October 1st, 2021, explicit carbon prices range from less than USD 1 to USD 142 (EUR 117) per ton of CO2e. Yet, more than 46% 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 reaching carbon prices comprised between USD 40 and USD 80 per ton of CO2e by 2020, and between USD 50 and USD 100 per ton of CO2e by 2030.
  4. Together, jurisdictions with a carbon mechanism (tax or ETS) emit 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG). This does not mean that 60% of global emissions are effectively covered by a carbon price: some sectors or populations may be exempted (totally or partially) for various reasons.
    Furthermore, fossil fuel subsidies still represent at least USD 450 billion in 2020 (see page 4).



Principal sources and useful links:


Global Carbon Accounts in 2021 pdf
I4CE Contacts
Marion FETET
Marion FETET
Research fellow – Territories Email
Sébastien POSTIC, Phd
Sébastien POSTIC, Phd
Project Manager – Industry, Energy and Climate Email
To learn more
  • 04/17/2018
    Global Carbon Account 2018

    I4CE‘s Global Carbon Account 2018 presents key trends regarding the implementation of explicit carbon pricing policies throughout the world in 2018.   5 key trends in 2018 (Too) Few jurisdictions have implemented an explicit carbon price : as of April 1, 2018, 46 countries and 26 provinces or cities have adopted carbon pricing policies ; The […]

  • 11/16/2015
    Recycling EU ETS carbon revenues for further emissions reductions

    By Manasvini VAIDYULA,  Research Fellow, I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics

  • 04/28/2016
    Bringing road transport into the EU ETS: reasons of a false good idea

    Beginning of April 2016, the European Commission (EC) released its indicative roadmap on the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Within this roadmap, the EC refers to some studies showing that the inclusion of road fuels use in the EU ETS would not achieve significant greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions reductions in the transport sector. The EC […]

See all publications
Press contact Amélie FRITZ Head of Communication and press relations Email
Subscribe to our mailing list :
I register !
Subscribe to our newsletter
Once a week, receive all the information on climate economics
I register !