The European carbon market (2005-2007): banking, pricing and risk hedging strategies
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This thesis investigates the market rules of the European carbon market (EU ETS) during 2005-2007. We provide theoretical and empirical analyses of banking and borrowing provisions, price drivers and risk hedging strategies attached to tradable quotas, which were introduced to cover the CO2 emissions of around 10,600 installations in Europe.In Chapter 1, we outline the economic and environmental effects of banking and borrowing on tradable permits markets. More specifically, we examine the banking and borrowing provisions adopted in the EU ETS, and the effects of banning banking between Phases I and II on CO2 price changes. We show statistically that the low levels of CO2 prices recorded until the end of Phase I may be explained by the restriction on the inter-period tranfer of allowances, besides the main explanations that were identified by market observers.In Chapter 2, we identify the carbon price drivers since the launch of the EU ETS on January 1, 2005. We emphasize the central role played by the 2005 yearly compliance event imposed by the European Commission in revealing the net short/long position at the installation level in terms of allowances allocated with respect to verified emissions. The main result of this study features that price drivers of CO2 allowances linked to energy market prices and unanticipated weather events vary around institutional events. Moreover, we show the influence of the variation of industrial production in three sectors covered by the EU ETS on CO2 price changes by applying a disentangling analysis, that has also been extended at the country-level.In Chapter 3, we focus on the risk hedging strategies linked to holding CO2 allowances. By using a methodology applied on stock markets, we recover the changes in investors' average risk aversion. This study shows that, during the time period considered, risk aversion has been higher on the carbon market than on the stock market, and that the risk is linked to an increasing price structure after the 2006 compliance event. With reference to Chapter 1, we finally evaluate how banking may be used as a risk management tool in order to cope with political uncertainty on a tradable permits market. We detail an optimal risk-sharing rule, and discuss the possibility of pooling the risk linked to allowance trading between agents.Overall, this thesis highlights the inefficiencies following the creation of the European carbon market that prevented the emergence of a price signal leading to effective emissions reductions by industrials. However, in a changing institutional environment, these inefficiencies do not seem to have been transfered to the period 2008-2012.