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Global Carbon Markets Soar to New Heights, Reaching Record Value of $949 Billion in 2023

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Discover how the global carbon markets achieved a staggering value of $949 billion in 2023, signaling a shift towards sustainable practices and the growing importance of carbon emissions mitigation. Learn more about the impact of this record-breaking milestone on the environment and economy.



The global carbon markets hit a record $948.75bn in 2023, showing a 2 per cent increase from the previous year. This demonstrates the growing momentum in the efforts to combat climate change. Many countries and regions have launched emissions trading systems (ETS) to put a price on CO2 emissions, encouraging companies to invest in low-carbon technology and meet climate targets.

The EU’s ETS remains the most valuable carbon market, with a worth of around EUR770bn in 2023, representing 87 per cent of the global total. However, the UK’s ETS saw a 22 per cent decrease in value to EUR36.4bn, with prices averaging around EUR65 per tonne.

In North America and China, prices also reached record highs in 2023, signaling a global trend towards higher-value carbon markets. It’s clear that the fight against climate change is not only gaining momentum, but it’s also becoming an increasingly valuable market in its own right.

These developments are also reflected in the price trends, with many markets seeing record highs before some declines toward the end of the year. The latest prices indicate that certain markets continue to face challenges, such as sluggish economic growth and subdued demand from industrial sectors. Nevertheless, the overall growth in value and the record-high prices in various markets underline the importance and potential of carbon trading.

The report also highlights Addleshaw Goddard’s Alexander Sarac sharing key trends in carbon trading, providing further insights into this growing market. These trends are indicative of the changes and challenges in the carbon market, shedding light on the industry’s growth and future prospects.

As the world continues to prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility, the value of carbon markets is likely to keep growing, providing both economic and environmental benefits. It’s clear that carbon trading is not just a tool for meeting climate targets, but also a valuable market in its own right.

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