In its function as a knowledge hub on emissions trading, ICAP publishes a range of knowledge products, from the flagship annual ICAP Status Reports to short papers and studies on selected ETS design or operation issues, to practical guidebooks for policy makers and practitioners to ETS briefs targeting a broad audience. On occasion, the partnership also releases joint public statements on issues surrounding emissions trading to contribute to the international debate.


ICAP & PMR ETS Handbook

ICAP and the World Bank's Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) jointly published a second edition of the ETS Handbook. The second edition builds on the key insights of the first edition, incorporating the important learnings and developments that have taken place over the last five years, as well as critical feedback gained from the practical application of the ETS Handbook by policymakers and practitioners in designing and implementing ETSs. The updated handbook will continue to be an important tool for continued ETS capacity building. The second edition is available in English and Spanish, with a Chinese version forthcoming.

ICAP and the PMR released the first edition in March 2016, synthesizing input from over 100 practitioners and technical experts across four continents. The first edition is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.


Paper on ETSs and Net Zero

In May 2021, ICAP released its paper Emissions Trading Systems and Net Zero: Trading Removals

The paper seeks to understand the challenges that net zero emission targets could present for the operation of emissions trading systems (ETSs) and develops a series of models for the possible interactions between ETSs and removal units from negative emissions technologies (NETs).


Carbon Leakage and Deep Decarbonization Report

In June 2020, ICAP released its report Carbon Leakage and Deep Decarbonization: Future-proofing Carbon Leakage Protection

The report provides a review of current efforts to address carbon leakage, assess the risk of carbon leakage, and policies to strengthen decarbonization efforts in light of ongoing leakage vulnerability and the push to achieve net-zero emissions.

The report comes with a summary for policymakers as well as a synthesis of alternative approaches to address carbon leakage.


ICAP Briefs on ETS Basics

ICAP ETS Briefs are designed for businesses, media, students, and other stakeholders interested in climate change and emissions trading. On just two pages, the briefs help you get up to speed on how emissions trading works, its benefits, as well as a snapshot of systems currently operating worldwide.

Our briefs also explore specific ETS design topics, such as how revenue is spent or how systems can cooperate to form a joint market.

The briefs are available in English, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish and Russian. More briefs are on the way, so check back for the latest updates and trends in emissions trading.


ICAP Linking Guide

In September 2018, ICAP launched its report, A Guide to Linking Emissions Trading Systems, which consolidates the experiences from ICAP Members that have considered or operate a linked market alongside insights from the literature.

It provides policymakers with step-by-step guidance throughout the whole process of linking.

Distilling practical experience with linking to date, the guide details the achievable advantages of linking and details ways to avoid possible pitfalls. Pathways to implementing a linked market and strategies to align different system designs are also covered, as well as stakeholder perspectives, the linking agreement and management of the linked market.


Annual Report - Emissions Trading Worldwide: Status Report

Since 2014, ICAP publishes its annual status report, 'Emissions Trading Worldwide: Status Report', which provides a comprehensive round-up on the state of play on emissions trading around the globe.

The ICAP Status Report takes stock of the latest policy developments, highlighting major trends and areas of policy debate, and provides detailed factsheets on all ETSs under consideration or operating worldwide.

A series of infographics visualize key trends in emissions trading over space and time. The report has become a widely quoted key reference point serving the broader international carbon market community including governments, business, academia and media. Since 2017, the Executive Summary of the report is also available in Chinese and Spanish and French.


Input Papers and Reports

ICAP produces a range of high-quality research, in order to facilitate discussion among ETS practitioners on the latest issues in policy design. Our publications, sometimes the product of the collaboration with other research institutions, are subject to review and inputs from ICAP Members and Observers.  They are also used as resources for ETS related education and communication.

Linking is a key topic in emissions trading and closely related to ICAP’s mission. In September 2018, ICAP launched the Guide to Linking Emissions Trading Systems, which highlights best practices in negotiating and implementing a linked market for policymakers interested in emissions trading. The Guide consolidates the experiences from ICAP Members that have considered or operate a linked market alongside insights from the literature.

In '
Linking ETS: State of the Art', the authors summarize the key insights from the literature with a focus on the technical dimensions of linking ETS.

While linking offers many potential benefits, full linking also entails significant challenges. Commissioned by ICAP to the Stockholm Environment Institute, ‘Options and Issues for Restricted Linking of Emissions Trading Schemes’ analyzes options that can help deliver some of the political, economic and environmental benefits of full linking.

First published in 2016, the 'Benefits of Emissions Trading: Taking Stock of the Impacts of ETS Worldwide' paper is intended to be an accessible resource that summarizes the main conceptual and theoretical arguments for ETS, supported by a consolidated body of empirical evidence. After two years, ICAP has now updated the paper with fresh evidence and up-to-date data that lends further weight to the arguments for ETS as a proven domestic climate policy instrument. 

The study 'Carbon Market Oversight' provides a brief overview of key elements for emissions trading market oversight, including various options that have been taken in different ETS with regard to institutional and legal requirements and standards. 

ICAP, in conjunction with the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, as well as Resources for the Future produced 'Emissions Trading and the Role of a Long-Run Carbon Price Signal', which looks at how ETSs incentivize cost-effective mitigation over the long term, as well as possible options to address market and regulatory imperfections in emissions trading. 


ICAP Submission and Statement

In the run-up to the COP21 in Paris, ICAP filed a submission to the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) on 19 October 2015, calling for the Paris agreement to support the use of market mechanisms to help countries achieve the targets laid down in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).