EU carbon price hits record €50 per tonne on route to climate target

(EurActiv, 6 May 2021) The European Union carbon price hit a record high of above €50 per tonne on Tuesday (4 May), a key milestone in what analysts say is likely a long-term climb towards the price levels needed to trigger investments in innovative clean technologies.

The EU carbon market is the bloc’s main tool for curbing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, forcing power plants, industry and airlines running flights within Europe to buy permits when they pollute.

With the bloc striving to meet tougher climate goals – including a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 – the market has found more impetus.

The benchmark EU Allowance (EUA) price hit €50.05 a tonne on Tuesday, the highest since the carbon market launched in 2005. The benchmark December 2021 contract has soared around 50% since the beginning of the year.

“There’s a basket of bullish factors, that is really why we see prices up at these levels,” Refinitiv analyst Ingvild Sorhus told Reuters.

These include policy support from the EU’s new climate goal, plus increased permit demand from financial investors tempted into the market by soaring prices and a consensus among analysts that prices are likely to climb further in the coming years.

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EurActiv, 6 May 2021: EU carbon price hits record €50 per tonne on route to climate target