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Climate Brief

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.

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  • 20/01/2023 Foreword of the week
    2023’s resolutions for a reform of development finance
    2022 ended up on a consensus that the global financial architecture is no longer “fit for purpose”. In other words, the financial ecosystem created post-war to support international development - at the centre of which are the IMF and the World Bank who were joined later by other international public financial institutions - wasn’t designed to address the multiplicity of challenges the world is facing today, foremost among which climate change. Time is running, and the good news is that 2023 is set up to be a busy year with key events setting the milestones for a reform of the international financial architecture, including a Paris Summit in June. The year will close at COP 28, where we will officially take stock of current achievements.
  • 19/01/2023 Blog post
    Here’s to an impactful new year for financial reform
    2023 will be busy with many events organised to address different parts of the financial architecture reform, including a Paris Summit in June. Alice Pauthier from [i4ce] tells you more about this agenda and identifies two conditions for a successful reform process. First, it has to be led by countries’ financing needs… wheras we are still lacking a granular analysis of countries’ investment needs for a sustainable development. Second, it has to be guided by the objective of maximising the impact of public finance. What we should count is the impact of public finance on the transition and not only volumes.
  • 18/01/2023 Climate Brief
    The limitations of voluntary climate commitments from private financial actors
    Private finance will not fund the transition without a stronger commitment from public authorities. For several years, and particularly since COP 26, considerable time and attention has been dedicated to the subject of voluntary commitments from private financial actors. These commitments, made within the framework of international initiatives, should in principle enable private finance to be mobilized for the transition to a carbon neutral economy.
  • 16/01/2023 Climate Report
    Landscape of climate finance in France – 2022 edition
    2022, France is paying dearly for a dependence on fossil fuels maintained by a chronic lack of investment in the decarbonisation of the economy. This edition of the Landscape of climate finance in France makes a detailed analysis of these critical expenditures by households, companies and public authorities, in the retrofitting of buildings, the purchase of electric vehicles, and renewable energies, as well as in rail, cycling and urban public transport infrastructures. Encouragingly, climate investments have increased significantly in the past year, driven, among other factors, by favourable regulations and by state support under the recovery plan. But this growth remains fragile, and analysis of several transition scenarios shows that climate investments need to increase further in order to stay on track to carbon neutrality and to ensure a lasting reduction in France’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  • 13/01/2023 Foreword of the week
    2023 agenda: there has never been a better time to act
    2022 was an eventful year in terms of climate. The year saw the emergence of a new concept, that of the polycrisis: war in Ukraine, the aftereffects of Covid, the return of inflation, the gas crisis, agricultural shortages, persistent droughts and other dramatic climatic events... all of these crises have ultimately pointed to our direct or indirect dependence on fossil fuels; our weaknesses when faced with a changing climate; and the vulnerability of our economies and the middle and lower classes.
  • 02/12/2022 Foreword of the week
    European Carbon Certification must be demanding… and appealing
    How can we differentiate between projects that really enable carbon to be stored and those that only claim to do so? This is a complicated question when dealing with projects in agriculture and forestry, where quantifying carbon storage is complex, and where other environmental challenges, like the preservation of biodiversity, must also be taken into account. A complicated question, therefore, but one that needs an answer! Private actors and public authorities want to ensure that the agricultural and forestry projects financed in the name of the climate have a real environmental benefit.
  • 01/12/2022 Blog post
    Carbon certification: the Commission publishes a stringent certification framework that should also be and appealing
    Yesterday, 30 november 2022, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a first EU-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals. This proposal provides a framework, broad guiding principles, and the details will be specified in 2023 supported by an expert group on Carbon Removals. “The devil may be in the detail”, but the framing is no less important. Claudine Foucherot of [i4ce] has analysed it and identified four points on which we must be vigilant. Overall, it can be said that the Commission is submitting an ambitious proposal, which nevertheless presents a risk: not being sufficient incentives to ensure a massive deployment of certified projects.    
  • 25/11/2022 Foreword of the week
    Financial regulators must stenghen their game
    One year ago the creation of the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero - GFANZ – was announced. The expectations were as big as the numbers: a coalition gathering 500 financial actors representing 130 trillion dollars. Private financial actors were finally stepping in and mobilizing. But one year later, the coalition raises many doubts. On one side it faces criticism from NGOs, and on the other some US actors are considering leaving the coalition under the pressure of members of Republicans Party.  
  • 24/11/2022 Climate Report
    Implementing prudential transition plans for banks: what are the expexted impacts?
    The European Union has made rapid progress on the issue of transition plans for companies and banks. First of all, the CSRD directive obliges each listed company to publish its plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Published by EFRAG this summer, the standards set for these plans can be considered ambitious and commensurate with the challenges they face. With regards to banks, it is now clear that they will be required to publish their transition plan. What remains under debate is whether these transition plans should be integrated into prudential regulations, which would open the way to numerous possibilities of action and sanctions by supervisors.
  • 18/11/2022 Foreword of the week
    COP27: let us remember the obvious about climate finance
    As COP27 draws to a close, let us remember the obvious: implementing the Paris Agreement will require financial flows from developed to developing countries. However, these flows are not just the much discussed $100 billion a year promised by the nations of the North to their counterparts in the South - a promise that has not been kept to date. And they are not just about budgetary flows either. More fundamentally, the architecture of development financing - or at least its climate component - needs to be reviewed in depth. It is therefore primarily the mission and modus operandi of the multilateral banks, and more broadly of the public development banks, that must be reviewed.
  • 10/11/2022 Foreword of the week
    COP27: the importance of national financing strategies for the transition
    This year again, expectations for the COP are high regarding developed countries’ commitments towards the funding of action against climate change and its impacts. The question of loss and damage, which pertains to questions of climate justice and of who should pay for the significant impacts of climate change endured by the poorest countries, has just been added to the official COP agenda. And climate finance will again be a hot topic: the pledge made back in 2009 by rich nations to channel US$100bn every year by 2020 to help less wealthy nations mitigate the rise in temperatures and adapt to climate change is still falling short of targets.
  • 09/11/2022 Climate Report
    The economic implications of the transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy: an LTS dashboard for Finance Ministers
    Long term national climate strategies, such as Long-Term Strategies (LTS) published to the UNFCCC, are key documents developed by governments to envision the transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy at the 2050 (or later) time-horizon. As of the beginning of COP 27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 2022, 55 countries had submitted an LTS to the UNFCCC, answering renewed calls for countries to develop such strategies at COP 26. It is expected that additional LTS will be published shortly. 
  • 04/11/2022 Foreword of the week
    COP27: A new journey for Development banks
    In 2022, the G20 raised a key question: are development banks well equipped to deliver their mandate and lead the way to a more sustainable development, in a world faced by multiple crises? Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development financial institutions (DFIs) business model was historically developed around project financing. But they now need to shift to supporting the transition of their counterparts: country governments, ministries, financial regulators but also national public banks, local financial institutions and companies. A new journey for development banks, and a new journey for their counterparts. Quite a challenge.
  • 03/11/2022 Climate Report
    Ensuring sufficient means to adapt to climate change consequences in France: What are the costs?
    This study is a contribution to the French public debate. It aims at supporting the acceleration and concretization of climate change adaptation initiatives in this country. The study reviews 11 adaptation challenges such as the strengthening of civil protection, the reshaping of coastal areas or the protection of water resources. For each challenge, the study presents national budgetary decisions ready to make in the next Finance Bill that would complement existing actions and cost elements to feed the required arbitrations yet to be made.  
  • 21/10/2022 Foreword of the week
    Public development banks in the spotlight: What we should be looking out for
    The end of the year is always a busy period for the climate finance world, with international events multiplying to take stock of the latest achievements in the implementation of the Paris agreement and to identify the next – more ambitious – steps to be taken by the international community. Though the climax of these […]
  • 19/10/2022 Blog post
    Net zero commitments need to prioritise impact
    Over the past couple of years, the growing net zero commitments across financial institutions strengthened the focus on their portfolios’ greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, this focus does not guarantee emissions are truly reduced in the real economy. For that to happen, there is a pressing need for decarbonisation approaches focused on impact generation, with the appropriate indicators. According to Sarah Bendahou, Public development banks are in a unique position to adopt such approaches and indicators, paving the way for private financial institutions.
  • 21/09/2022 Climate Brief
    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.
  • 02/09/2022 Op-ed
    OP-ED | Industry: how to plan investments for the ecological transition?
    The industrial sector currently accounts for around 20% of French greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • 01/09/2022 Special edition
    Foreseeing the next crises – Activity Report 2022
    The climate emergency is here and now. The consequences of climate change seemed remote to many and the summer of 2022 will perhaps be remembered as the summer of the end of carelessness.
  • 08/07/2022 Op-ed
    Op-ed | Payment for carbon farming: we need an ambitious and pragmatic European certification
    The European Commission will propose a `carbon certification’ by the end of the year as a first step towards remunerating farmers and foresters who contribute to carbon farming. This certification project raises debates and concerns. For Adeline FAVREL of I4CE, the EU can respond and develop an ambitious certification by relying on the experience of the Member States in this field.

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