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IETA at 20

This month marks 20 years since IETA was established. I doubt those in the room at the inaugural IETA council meeting, pictured above, could ever have imagined the journey that lay ahead.

From the boom times of the CDM and early years of the EU ETS, through the launch of emissions trading systems in New Zealand and some North American states and provinces, then the lows of the 2009 Copenhagen talks and the global financial crisis. More recently, the path brightened with the start of emissions trading in China and the drive from many that got us to a deal in Paris in 2015 – with a dedicated Article 6 on markets. On to now, when we’re still pushing to finalise rules for the next generation of markets. It’s been a wild ride, but IETA has been a steady ship through it all.

What has kept our mission on track is our members’ commitment to drive real, meaningful change for the good of our world. Over the last 20 years, this has become ever more urgent, as procrastination and denialism of the changing climate has slowed action in parts of the world. Despite the global buy-in to the Paris Agreement, there are still some dragging their feet, fearful of making the change we need. IETA’s advocacy is strong and steady, focused on why markets are the most effective tool to cut emissions, and how they can be used to maximum benefit.

Over the years, our work has had a great impact on the global carbon market. In 2005, we were the first organisation to voice concerns about the CDM’s challenges  and long campaigned for reforms to improve this transformational mechanism. We developed master trading agreements for key markets to help increase liquidity and standardise trading terms, all aimed at reducing transaction costs and improving market efficiency.

Our work on market mechanisms in a new climate deal helped deliver Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. In Europe, the reforms we advocated for helped European leaders formulate the market stability reserve. With the Business Partnership for Market Readiness, we have worked with the World Bank and developing country governments to help educate and prepare market participants in emerging markets such as China, Korea and Mexico.

Our work is far from done. And, much like our founders 20 years ago, we don’t know fully what the next 20 years will bring. We know what it needs to bring – deep decarbonisation and transformation of the global economy – and we know that markets are the best hope of delivering the ambition that this will require. Why not join us and be part of the change?

Dirk Forrister
President & CEO

For more information on IETA and our work, see www.ieta.org


4-7 June: Meet IETA at the Innovate4Climate event in Singapore

17-27 June: IETA will be at the SBSTA meeting in Bonn, Germany

19-23 August: Join us at the Latin America & Caribbean Climate Week in Salvador, Brazil

IETA Member's Corner

How is Shell involved in the carbon market?

Shell is an experienced trader of environmental products, providing a wide range of solutions through our global trading network.

Shell is active in both compliance and voluntary markets globally through our four regional desks in London, San Diego, Singapore and Shanghai.

We manage the global CO2 Compliance obligations for all the assets owned by the Royal Dutch Shell Group, which covers over 50 installations worldwide and provides us with an understanding of the challenges faced by our customers and the opportunities that the markets afford them.

Shell came first for several significant milestones for emissions markets, including being the first company to: execute a trade in European Union Allowances (EUAs); trade a carbon product usable under a US mandatory cap-and-trade programme; trade US federal CO2 compliance futures contracts on the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange; and to take delivery of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) under the Clean Development Mechanism programme. We were also the first international company to purchase Hubei allowances in the Chinese market.

The business operates in compliance and voluntary emissions markets globally, including the EU ETS, Western Climate Initiative (WCI), Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Chinese pilot markets in Shanghai, Hubei, Beijing & Guangdong, South Korean ETS, New Zealand ETS and the Australian Safeguard Mechanism.

As one of IETA’s founding members, what does IETA’s work mean for you?

Shell derives benefit from our membership of IETA through IETA’s role as a worldwide advocacy platform and source of information and expertise on the issue of carbon pricing and trading, a key area of advocacy for Shell. Shell is aligned with IETA on climate-related policy positions and we will continue to engage with the association on this topic.

IETA Publications


IETA Insights 2019 #3: On the origins of IETA

This month marks IETA's 20th Anniversary. One of its founders, Frank Joshua, recounts the IETA origin story.

IETA's 2019 GHG Market Sentiment Survey

Confidence is growing for trading in China's national ETS, while EU ETS price expectations continue to rise in this year's survey


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