Pricing carbon is a cost-effective instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ought to be a central piece of jurisdictions’ climate change mitigation strategies.

The lack of detailed data on carbon pricing instruments that is consistent across jurisdictions and time has for long hindered tracking of policy developments and the empirical assessment of their impact. The World Carbon Pricing Database contributes to filling this gap by providing a sector-(fuel) level record of implemented instruments. The full dataset and a detailed description are available on GitHub.

In 2021, there were 44 national and 35 sub-national jurisdictions in which a carbon pricing instrument was in force. Among national jurisdictions, 25 had a carbon tax and 37 had an emissions trading system (i.e., cap-and-trade). For sub-national jurisdictions, the balance is tilted toward emissions trading systems, with such systems in force in 31 jurisdictions, and carbon taxes in force in 13 of them.

Taken together, these instruments covered 26% of World carbon dioxide emissions and the average price of emissions was USD 4.5/tCO2 (2021 USD).

Coverage and price calculations are based on a combination of the WCPD and (sector-fuel) emissions data, including from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR). Coverage and average price data is calculated for 138 national jurisdictions, the 50 US States and 13 Canadian Provinces and Territories, and the 22 provinces of mainland China. The data and a description of the methodology are described on this GitHub repository.

Carbon Pricing Database by Geoffroy Dolphin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.