Transactions - Emissions Annex Provision
EU Emissions Allowance Transaction Annex to the 2005 ISDA Commodity Definitions
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Transactions in all its glory
See our natty emissions comparison table between the IETA, EFET and ISDA versions of emissions trading docs
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The two major types of transaction in EUAs are Allowance Forward Transactions: an agreement now to buy (and sell) later of some Allowances at a price agreed now that is expected to reflect their price later, as that price is agreed now — and Allowance Option Transactions, at which one has the right to buy (or sell) later some emissions at a price agreed now that is expected to reflect their price later, as that price is agreed now.
Why none of the other weird and wonderful derivatives flows we see in other asset classes? mainly because allowances themelves, are rather boring instruments. They just sit there, then you give them to the government. They don’t pay interest, they can’t merge or demerge, they don’t declare a Record Date, they don’t suddenly blow up. The only interesting thing that can happen to them is political vicissitude: the political winds can change, decarbonisation could become a lower priority (hard to imagine, but another populist lurch to the right and who knows?). If the EU decided to abandon the EU ETS — and look,. if the Ukraine situation deteriorates such that energy supplies are further prejudiced, maybe, short term, they would. Though there is a solid argument that had Europe already made the energy transition such that it were not reliant on Eurasian gas, the Ukraine invasion might never have happened.
Almost unusually, there is no credit component intrinsic to a Carbon Allowance. Emissions are like financial instruments in most ways: they are dematerialised, they trade, they don’t have a physical presence, they can’t go off or rust — but they are like commodities, currencies and metals in one peculiar sense: they can’t go bust.
- The JC’s famous Nutshell™ summary of this clause