Direct carbon pricing instruments, key policy to decarbonization, now cover almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new World Bank report.
The World Bank has been tracking carbon markets for around two decades and the annual State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report is now in its tenth year. When the first report was published a decade ago, only 7% of global emissions were covered by either a carbon tax or an ETS. Today, as highlighted in the 2023 report, almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions (23%) are now covered by 73 instruments. An ETS places a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions – it allows emitters with lower emissions to sell their extra emission units (or “allowances”) to higher emitters, thereby establishing a market price for emissions. A carbon tax, meanwhile, directly sets a price on carbon by defining a tax rate on emissions.
The report reiterates that carbon pricing is an important tool to raise revenue, direct international financial flows, and drive innovation. As part of a broader policy package, these policies can help deliver on broader sustainability and development goals. For instance, many of the World Bank’s core climate diagnostics, the Country Climate and Development Reports, highlight the potential for direct carbon pricing policies to support countries on their development journeys.
To read the report, click here.