The Paris Agreement establishes a mechanism which allows a Party to benefit from greenhouse gas emissions reductions conducted in a host Party to fulfil its nationally determined contribution. In this context, the objective of this paper is to improve the understanding of carbon offset price dynamics in comparison with regular carbon market allowances. We combine a cointegration approach with risk premium considerations to compare the price dynamics of European Union Allowances (EUA) and Certified Emission Reductions (CER) in the second phase of the European carbon market. By taking account of breaks identified in the series, we find that, while the EUA and CER returns present comparable dynamics mainly driven by fuel switching, the long-term relationships between the price of these two types of permits and their drivers differ significantly. Whereas the price of EUA is well explained by a demand effect, the impact of energy prices on the CER price suggests the existence of a supply-side effect for credits. We find that the price elasticity of allowances with regard to the coal and gas prices is negative in time periods of low economic activity and positive during the remaining time. We explain the former with the fact that the market is not tight and the latter with the effect of the economic activity on the price of commodities and energy.
Gavard, Claire and Djamel Kirat (2018), Flexibility in the Market for International Carbon Credits and Price Dynamics Difference with European Allowances, Energy Economics V. 76, pp. 504-18. Download