What is the ICAP ETS Library

The ICAP ETS Library is a database of resources on emissions trading schemes (ETS) around the world, including academic and grey literature on the topic but also primary documents for all active systems. The ICAP ETS Library combines different sources of information that can be categorized according to the specific jurisdiction, elements of designing a system, the effects of ETS, and the type of information a document contains. Its focus is specifically on emissions trading systems, though resources relating to broader discussions on carbon pricing may appear (e.g. the debate over ETS vs. a carbon tax). The sources of information that appear in the ETS Library are detailed in the section below.

Why we created it

We created the ETS Library to allow policymakers, civil society, and the interested public to efficiently inform themselves on all major aspects of emissions trading. What sets the ICAP ETS Library apart from a generic internet search or academic search is the type of information populating it. Combining academic literature, reports from think tanks and other sources of “grey literature”, government white papers, and legislation, the ETS Library provides a unique, one-stop platform to find relevant ETS information. This wealth of material is classified according to a host of variables that allow users to retrieve focused and highly relevant search results. More information on how the ICAP ETS Library works can be found in our How-to Guide.


The development of the ETS Library was funded by the Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).  The Library was developed by the ICAP Secretariat with support from Lucid.Berlin and external programmers.  We also extend a special thanks to Johannes Ackva, without whom the ETS Library would not exist.

Technical notes

  • The classification of the material in the library is done through a combination of human coding and hypothesis testing of rules, which are then improved in a Bayesian updating process. This basic form of machine learning allows the system to get more accurate over time.
  • For legislation entries, the year given is the year of enactment, not the operational start of an ETS.

Contributing to the ICAP ETS Library

Think your material should be in here? Send us an e-mail! (library@icapcarbonaction.com). Excel and .bib files are preferred.


The data contained in the ETS library is provided for information purposes only. ICAP assumes no responsibility for the topicality, accuracy, completeness, or the quality of the information provided.