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July 2023

Global Environmental Markets Report

ICE Carbon Index Futures

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PJM Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) deliveries broke records in July, as the total notional value of delivered RECs reached $377 million. RECs – a type of Energy Attribute Credit – represent the positive externality associated with producing green electricity. Many U.S. states have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which require Load Serving Entities to procure and retire RECs.

The total notional value of the PJM delivery was a 22% increase from the previous record of $308 million set in July 2022. The record month was driven predominantly by PJM Tri-Qualified Class 1 RECs (PJM Tris, for short), which are eligible for compliance in the RPS markets of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. The PJM Tri market saw 7,544,800 RECs delivered this July, up from 7,052,900 July 2022. This, paired with a 42% increase in price, led to the record $260 million in notional value of the delivery in PJM Tris alone.

ICE is the global hub of Energy Attribute Credit trading. In the past 12 months, 91,919,000 PJM RECs have traded on ICE, representing 91% of the market share in PJM futures.


  • Open interest (OI) across North American Environmental markets has continued to climb since January 2023 to 1,038,108 lots.
  • CCA volumes grew 5% from June, and 16% from July 2022. OI grew 9% from last month but was flat (1%) year-over-year.


Global Carbon Index Futures

  • The ICE Global Carbon Index (excess return) reached a high for the month of 718 points on July 27, before settling the month at 699 points. The ICE Global Carbon Futures Indices measure the performance of a long-only basket of ICE EUA Futures, ICE California Carbon Allowance Futures, ICE Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Futures, and ICE UKA Futures Contracts.

North America


  • EUA futures volume increased by 8% year-over-year with 593,110 lots and options traded 115,297 lots. Combined OI was 778,591 lots.
  • UKA futures traded 36,896 lots, a 36% increase year-over-year
  • The UKA Auctions on July 12 (3,154,500 lots) each and July 26 (3,154,000 lots) cleared all volume.

Nature-Based Carbon Credits

  • 106,000 credits traded in July split as follows: 51,000 NBT (Vintage 16), 50,000 OVB (Vintage 18) and 5,000 OVC (Vintage 19). The latter traded for the first time. OI remained stable month-over-month.
  • After rebounding during June, Nature Based Carbon Credit prices resumed their downtrend but this time the vintage contango was affected as well. For example, (Vintage 16) and (Vintage 18) dropped 15% and 7% respectively, while (Vintage 20) gained 7%.
  • The whole move, although supported by total trading volume increasing 25% month-over-month, saw total market OI decline by 1%.


  • REC and SREC futures and options volume was 55,674 lots.
  • PJM Volumes totaled 54,074 lots, while NEPOOL volumes 1,600 lots. CRS saw 175 lots trade.
  • OI across the REC and SREC portfolio finished the month at 573,819.

Key Dates & Events

North America

  • Contract Expiry and Deliveries – Options expire on August 15, last trade day August 28 and delivery day August 31.
  • CCA Auction #36 is scheduled to occur on August 16, with 55.67 million current year and 7.57 million advance year allowances for sale.
  • WCA Auction scheduled for August 30 will offer 8.6 million Allowances.
  • RGGI Auction Auction #61 is scheduled to occur on September 6, with allowance quantities to be determined.


  • Contract Expiry and Deliveries – Futures last trade day August 21 and delivery day August 24.

Nature-Based Carbon Credits

  • Contract Expiry and Deliveries – Futures last trade day September 26 and delivery day September 29.

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