World Carbon Pricing Database
A database of global carbon pricing policies since 1990.
The World Carbon Pricing Database explores carbon prices arising from carbon pricing mechanisms around the world since 1990. The tool allows users to explore the price associated with CO₂ emissions in national and subnational jurisdictions around the world between 1990 and 2021. It looks specifically at the two common types of carbon pricing mechanisms: carbon taxes, which set a price on carbon, and cap-and-trade systems, which caps the overall volume of emissions and creates a market for emissions allowances.
1. Economy-wide Average Carbon Price
Exploring Emissions-Weighted Prices
This map displays the emissions-weighted carbon price, in 2019$/tCO₂, for national jurisdictions, as well as for subnational jurisdictions in Canada, China, and the United States. The emissions-weighted price of carbon is the average carbon price across all sectors of a jurisdiction's economy, weighted by each sector’s share of the economy’s total emissions. You can use the toggle menus to select the region (World, Canada, China, United States) and pricing instrument (carbon tax, cap-and-trade, or both). If you set the region to Canada, China or United States, you will have access to information on carbon prices in the subnational jurisdictions of that country.
The slider on the right allows you to adjust the year. You can click the play/pause button to view an animation of how pricing has changed over the last three decades.
2. Sector-level Carbon Prices
Comparing Pricing by Sector
Use this section to explore carbon prices for different sectors—emission source categories—across national and subnational jurisdictions, years, and pricing instruments. The Sector menu disaggregates the economy into emission sectors using the source category codes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is the sectoral/emissions process disaggregation used by countries to report their emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
When a fuel combustion sector is selected (any value that begins with a 1A in this menu), the data is disaggregated by type of fuel (coal, oil or natural gas). All other sector selections simply provide the carbon price for the specified sector, jurisdiction, and year. Prices reported are the unweighted raw prices, including any potential price rebate.
Examining Historic Prices
The chart below displays historical prices for emission source categories (i.e., sectors) and jurisdictions. The data in this section does not distinguish the price information by fuel (for all emission source categories under category 1A, the displayed price is an emissions-weighted average of fuel-level prices; for all other categories, it is the price of emissions recorded for that category.) Select up to 15 jurisdictions, or randomize your selection if you wish to see a sample of jurisdictions.
How The Tool Works
A key feature of this dashboard is that it provides information structured by territorial jurisdiction, not by carbon pricing mechanism. This is achieved by mapping information available for each carbon pricing mechanism (carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems) onto various jurisdictions. In practice, this means that, alongside information on the sectors and fuels targeted by a pricing mechanism, we also record the jurisdictions in which it is in force.
We then use this information to create jurisdiction-specific records of emissions covered and the associated carbon price, disaggregated at the sector(-fuel) level. For instance, carbon pricing in France is instituted through both a national carbon tax, which applies to, among other things, to road transport emissions, and the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which covers power sector and industry emissions. In this case, we obtain the overall picture of carbon pricing in France from the information on the French carbon tax and the EU ETS.
The current version of the dataset, and this dashboard, only reflect the price applied to CO₂ emissions. Prices applied to other Kyoto-gases (i.e., CH4, N2O, SF6, F-gases) are not accounted for, although an extension to these gases is ongoing.
Carbon Pricing Scope and Prices Data
Sectoral Scope and Prices
Information about the carbon pricing mechanisms’ sectoral scope and prices is collected at the sector-fuel level, following the sectoral disaggregation of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2006).
Prices and Currencies
All prices in this dataset are expressed in 2019USD/tCO₂ and include any potential sector(-fuel) specific rebate.
The conversion from current local currency units (LCU) to constant US Dollars uses the 2019 LCU/USD exchange rate and the jurisdiction-specific cumulative rates of inflation (based on the GDP deflator of each jurisdiction).
Calculations of the Emissions-weighted Carbon Price and Coverage
To compute the emissions-weighted carbon price, the following information, disaggregated at the sector(-fuel) level, is used: (1) scope of existing carbon pricing mechanisms; (2) the nominal price of emissions (2019USD/tCO₂) associated with each mechanism; (3) CO₂ emissions data. We proceed with the calculation of the ECP in three steps:
- Collect and standardize data on jurisdictions’ greenhouse gas emissions (disaggregated by IPCC source category and fuel type) and calculate each category’s emissions as a share of a jurisdiction’s total emissions.
- Link greenhouse gas emissions data with scope and price data contained in the World Carbon Pricing Database. Both datasets are disaggregated at the level of IPCC source categories, which allows for a one-to-one linking using IPCC sector codes as the linking key.
- Calculate jurisdiction-level coverage and emissions-weighted prices as per the formulas below.
Note that coverage calculations account for any potential overlap in scope between any two mechanisms as well as limitations to coverage within emission source categories.
The source code, raw data files, and formatted dataset files that underpin this dashboard are available on GitHub. They can be downloaded under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. Further information can be found on these GitHub repositories as well as in the technical notes (World carbon pricing database: sources and methods and Emissions-weighted carbon price: sources and methods) associated with the datasets.
If you have any questions about the dashboard, or wish to report a bug or error, we always welcome your feedback. Please email [email protected] or open an issue on the GitHub repositories hosting the underlying data.
Working Paper — Feb 22, 2024
China’s Nationwide CO2 Emissions Trading System: A General Equilibrium Assessment
This working paper offers a dynamic general equilibrium assessment of China's tradable performance standard for carbon dioxide emissions.
Common Resources — Jan 23, 2024
Bill That Would Help Track Emissions Associated with Traded Goods Receives Bipartisan Support
A new bill passed recently by a US Senate committee would require the federal government to study the greenhouse gas emissions associated with products from selected industries and US trade partners.
Resources Radio — Jan 2, 2024
2023 Year in Review: Energy and Environmental Policy, with Karen Palmer and Joseph Majkut
Karen Palmer and Joseph Majkut discuss the important and overlooked stories in energy and environmental policy from 2023, along with stories and issues to watch for in 2024.
Testimony and Public Comments — Dec 19, 2023
Comments on the Joint California-Quebec Workshop: Potential Amendments to the Cap-and-Trade Regulation
RFF researchers submitted two comments to the California Air Resources Board in response to a cap-and-trade workshop held with the government of Quebec.