Each year for nearly a decade The World Bank has published “The State and Trends of the Carbon Market” in May or June with great fan-fare and press releases. It’s the definitive guide telling the world how many dollars are turning over in the global markets (which really means “the EU market plus a few other bits”). I’ve been quoting their figures for years — The 2012 report told us that $176 billion dollars turned over in 2011. So what was the number for the 2012 year? Whatever it is, it’s so bad the World Bank cancelled the report.
Figure what the cancellation of the report tells us about the The World Bank. Was it publishing these figures for the last nine years because they were important for investors and policy-makers? I guess not, or they would still be publishing them. By dropping it at the first major downturn, we know the reason for the report was pure PR, something for whipping up momentum about the market and getting headlines in newspapers. The numbers in 2013 became a PR disadvantage — the World Bank did not want headlines like “carbon market collapses”, or “carbon trading falls by 50%” (or whatever the figure is). So the report had to go. Swept silently under the blanket and replaced with the less ambitious paper: Mapping Carbon Pricing Initiatives 2013.
This (new) report prepared by the World Bank together with Ecofys, replaces the State and Trends of the Carbon Market series. Unlike in previous years, the report does not provide a quantitative, transaction-based analysis of the international carbon market as current market conditions invalidate any attempt and interest to undertake such analysis.
You can see in this graph that the average price during 2012 (under the red line) was closer to half the value of 2011, though the graph tells us nothing about volumes.
Each year in the State of the Trends series the Carbon Finance Unit listed all the press coverage. Their priorities are clear, see the lists of their success — stories in Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times (… 2010, 2011, 2012 )
Why would the World Bank be interested in promoting fear of man-made emissions? Could it be that they manage millions of dollars of funds and facilities, all of which would be pointless if man-made emissions are not a catastrophe waiting-to-happen.
Thanks To Scott the trader for help.