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Mapped: Carbon Pricing Initiatives Around the World

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World's carbon pricing initiatives

Mapped: Carbon Pricing Initiatives Around the World

Over the past two decades, governments around the world have responded to climate change through various initiatives and policies, with carbon pricing at the forefront.

A recent example is the Canadian province of Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards program, first launched in 2022. The program sets annual carbon emissions limits for industrial facilities, with a fee on excess carbon emitted.

This graphic by Jonathan Letourneau maps 70 active carbon pricing initiatives around the world and highlights their global impact as seen in the 2022 World Bank report.

But first, let’s look at the different types of carbon pricing:

Carbon Tax vs. ETS

Broadly speaking, carbon pricing gives emission generating organizations a choice between reducing their carbon emissions and paying for them.

The two typical initiatives used to offer this choice are carbon taxes and emissions trading systems (ETS):

  • Carbon tax: This tax or levy is directly applied to the production of carbon emissions or fuels that release greenhouse gases. This makes products or services that release substantial carbon more expensive than greener alternatives (or reducing emissions).
  • Emissions Trading System (ETS): Also called the cap-and-trade system, ETS puts a cap on the total level of greenhouse gases a licensed industry can emit. Companies with low emissions can sell their unused emission allowance with larger emitters that have exceeded the cap.

The World’s Carbon Pricing Initiatives

As of the end of 2022, Europe was home to 24 of the 70 active carbon pricing initiatives in the world.

LocationCarbon Pricing TypeCO2e Price Per Tonne (USD)Emissions Covered (Tonnes)
🇦🇷 ArgentinaCarbon tax$4.9979.46
🇦🇹 AustriaETSN/A34.41
🇨🇦 CanadaETS$39.9653.35
🇨🇦 CanadaCarbon tax$39.96167.67
🇨🇦 Canada - AlbertaETS$39.96140.36
🇨🇦 Canada - British ColumbiaETS$19.98N/A
🇨🇦 Canada - British ColumbiaCarbon tax$39.9646.41
🇨🇦 Canada - New BrunswickETS$39.967.05
🇨🇦 Canada - New BrunswickCarbon tax$39.965.50
🇨🇦 Canada - Newfoundland and LabradorETS$39.964.59
🇨🇦 Canada - Newfoundland and LabradorCarbon tax$39.965.01
🇨🇦 Canada - Northwest TerritoriesCarbon tax$31.971.33
🇨🇦 Canada - Nova ScotiaETS$23.1014.02
🇨🇦 Canada - OntarioETS$31.9741.12
🇨🇦 Canada - Prince Edward IslandCarbon tax$23.980.97
🇨🇦 Canada - QuebecETS$30.8360.92
🇨🇦 Canada - SaskatchewanETS$39.9610.23
🇨🇱 ChileCarbon tax$5.0036.93
🇨🇳 ChinaETS$9.204,500.00
🇨🇳 China - BeijingETS$6.5331.89
🇨🇳 China - ChongqingETS$5.6667.14
🇨🇳 China - FujianETS$1.83125.13
🇨🇳 China - Guangdong (except Shenzhen)ETS$12.51259.23
🇨🇳 China - HubeiETS$7.2463.80
🇨🇳 China - ShanghaiETS$9.2878.48
🇨🇳 China - ShenzhenETS$0.6413.17
🇨🇳 China - TianjinETS$4.4053.08
🇨🇴 ColombiaCarbon tax$5.0144.68
🇩🇰 DenmarkCarbon tax$26.6217.21
🇪🇪 EstoniaCarbon tax$2.211.41
🇪🇺 EU - Norway, Iceland, LiechtensteinETS$86.531,626.60
🇫🇮 FinlandCarbon tax$85.1026.93
🇫🇷 FranceCarbon tax$49.29157.78
🇩🇪 GermanyETS$33.16349.44
🇮🇸 IcelandCarbon tax$34.252.72
🇮🇪 IrelandCarbon tax$45.3127.05
🇯🇵 JapanCarbon tax$2.36952.66
🇯🇵 Japan - SaitamaETS$3.848.16
🇯🇵 Japan - TokyoETS$4.4213.26
🇰🇿 KazakhstanETS$1.08169.18
🇰🇷 Korea, Republic ofETS$18.75554.44
🇱🇻 LatviaCarbon tax$16.580.38
🇱🇮 LiechtensteinCarbon tax$129.860.15
🇱🇺 LuxembourgCarbon tax$43.356.80
🇲🇽 MexicoCarbon tax$3.72352.61
🇲🇽 MexicoETS$3.72320.55
🇲🇽 Mexico - Baja CaliforniaCarbon taxN/AN/A
🇲🇽 Mexico - TamaulipasCarbon taxN/AN/A
🇲🇽 Mexico - ZacatecasCarbon taxN/AN/A
🇲🇪 MontenegroETSN/AN/A
🇳🇱 NetherlandsCarbon tax$46.1425.96
🇳🇿 New ZealandETS$52.6241.61
🇳🇴 NorwayCarbon tax$87.6144.73
🇵🇱 PolandCarbon taxN/A15.94
🇵🇹 PortugalCarbon tax$26.4425.04
🇸🇬 SingaporeCarbon tax$3.9656.42
🇸🇮 SloveniaCarbon tax$19.1210.65
🇿🇦 South AfricaCarbon tax$9.84459.17
🇪🇸 SpainCarbon tax$16.586.23
🇸🇪 SwedenCarbon tax$129.8925.83
🇨🇭 SwitzerlandETS$64.225.06
🇨🇭 SwitzerlandCarbon tax$129.8615.75
🇺🇸 United States - CaliforniaETS$30.82309.47
🇺🇸 United States - New England Area (RGGI)ETS$13.8967.92
🇺🇸 United States - New England Area (RGGI)ETS$0.506.07
🇺🇸 United States - OregonETSN/A27.09
🇺🇦 UkraineCarbon tax$1.03197.46
🇬🇧 United KingdomCarbon tax$23.6597.38
🇬🇧 United KingdomETS$98.99129.85
🇺🇾 UruguayCarbon tax$137.304.38

Europe’s position is not surprising given many of its countries have set ambitious carbon neutral goals. The region’s European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the world’s largest carbon market, covering 1.8 billion tonnes of emissions annually.

Canada has also implemented numerous regional and national carbon pricing initiatives, with many provinces falling under both main types of carbon pricing. For example, carbon emissions in British Columbia—the first jurisdiction in North America to implement carbon pricing—are priced under both a carbon tax and an ETS.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2021, China, implemented its much-awaited national ETS the same year. In just one year, the country’s traded carbon emission allowances crossed 200 million tonnes.

In the U.S., several states have implemented their own carbon pricing initiatives. California’s cap-and-trade initiative covers emissions from electricity, transportation, and industry, while the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative sets a cap on emissions from power plants of nine Northeastern states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

The Impact of Carbon Pricing

Putting a price on carbon emissions seems to have made an impact in reducing emissions.

In Europe, the EU ETS has helped reduce emissions from the power sector by 43% in the region since its inception in 2005.

Likewise, California’s Cap-and-Trade program has helped the state meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions back to 1990 levels.

In many jurisdictions, including China and Canada, there are plans to double down on carbon pricing plans, either by increasing the cost of carbon or lowering emissions limits.

But while many economists and policy makers have found carbon pricing to be the most efficient tool to curb emissions, they also point out that the programs themselves need to be designed well. Initiatives with limits that are too high or prices that are too low can be ineffectual, as well as giving certain major polluters exemptions from programs.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Ranked: Top 20 Countries by Plastic Waste per Capita

Visualizing plastic waste per capita reveals a surprising list of countries that you may not have expected.

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Ranked: Top 20 Countries by Plastic Waste per Capita

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Single-use plastic waste is perhaps one of the biggest environmental issues of our time. Every year, millions of tons of plastic end up in oceans and landfills, harming wildlife and ecosystems.

To make matters worse, plastics take hundreds of years to decompose, leading to long-term environmental and health hazards as they break down into microplastics that contaminate water and food sources.

In this graphic, we visualized the top 20 countries that generated the most single-use plastic waste per capita in 2019, measured in kilograms per person. Figures come from research published in May 2021, which we sourced from Statista.

Data and Key Takeaways

The data we used to create this graphic is listed in the table below.

RankCountryKg per personPounds per person
1🇸🇬 Singapore76168
2🇦🇺 Australia59130
3🇴🇲 Oman56123
4🇳🇱 Netherlands55121
5🇧🇪 Belgium55121
6🇮🇱 Israel55121
7🇭🇰 Hong Kong55121
8🇨🇭 Switzerland53117
9🇺🇸 U.S.53117
10🇦🇪 UAE52115
11🇨🇱 Chile51112
12🇰🇷 S. Korea4497
13🇬🇧 UK4497
14🇰🇼 Kuwait4088
15🇳🇿 New Zealand3986
16🇮🇪 Ireland3986
17🇫🇮 Finland3884
18🇯🇵 Japan3782
19🇫🇷 France3679
20🇸🇮 Slovenia3577

Countries from all around the world are present in this ranking, highlighting how plastic waste isn’t concentrated in any one region.

It’s also interesting to note how most of the countries in this top 20 ranking are wealthier, more developed nations. These nations have higher levels of consumption, with greater access to packaged goods, take-out services, and disposable products, all of which rely on single-use plastics.

Where’s China and India?

Note that we’ve visualized plastic waste per capita, which is different from the total amount of waste produced by a country. It is for this reason that major polluters, such as China and India, are not present in this ranking.

It’s also worth noting that this focuses on the demand side of plastics, rather than where plastic products were initially created or produced.

If you’re interested to see more visuals on plastic waste, check out Which Countries Pollute the Most Ocean Plastic Waste?.

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