Pricing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Turning Climate Targets into Climate Action

image of Pricing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Accelerating the transition to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is urgently required to contain the risks of climate change. As countries seek to reduce GHG emissions, they can employ or reform a wide range of policy instruments. This report tracks how explicit carbon prices, energy taxes and subsidies have evolved between 2018 and 2021. This is an important subset of the policy instruments available to governments. All instruments considered in this report either directly change the cost of emitting GHG or change electricity prices. Reforming these instruments could help to meet climate targets, lead to cleaner air and water, and improve public finances. The report covers 71 countries, which together account for approximately 80% of global GHG emissions and energy use. Explicit carbon prices, as well as energy taxes and subsidies are detailed by country, sector, product and instrument. The use of a common methodology ensures comparability across countries. Summary indicators facilitate cross-country comparisons and allow policy makers and the public to keep track of progress made and identify opportunities for reform.

English Also available in: French

Pricing greenhouse gas emissions: What has changed? What needs to change?

This chapter introduces carbon pricing and the current energy policy context. It then analyses changes in the pricing of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2018 and 2021 in 71 countries. The chapter takes a broad view of carbon pricing, considering both explicit forms of carbon pricing (emissions trading systems and carbon taxation) and implicit carbon pricing instruments that directly change fossil fuel prices (fuel excise taxes and negative carbon prices resulting from subsidies that lower pre-tax fossil fuel prices). Results are broken down by instrument, sector (road transport, off-road transport, industry, agriculture & fisheries and buildings, and other GHG emissions), country, fossil fuel, and GHG emissions percentile. The chapter presents estimates of the revenue potential of policy options for fossil fuel subsidy and carbon price reform, explains the link between carbon pricing and the sustainable development goals, and discusses how governments could unlock further mitigation efforts.

English Also available in: French


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error