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Emissions Trading 101 Library

In collaboration with members and partners, we are pleased to present IETA’s new library of educational 101 Briefings.  These documents are geared towards a general audience who are interested in learning the basics of emissions trading design options and case studies. “Hot Button” market issues, of particular relevance to North America’s rapidly-evolving carbon pricing story, are also included in the Briefings’ library.

IETA’s library is continually growing, so make sure to frequently visit this site for new and modified postings.  If you have any questions about information found in these resources, or would like to learn more about specific issues, please email olegario@ieta.org.

We would like to thank our members for their special contributions and insights that informed IETA’s library.

Click on the images below to download the document in PDF.

The entire set of 101s can be downloaded here.


  1. Article 6 (English and Spanish)
  2. Emissions Trading Benefits (English and Spanish)
  3. Cap and Trade: The Basics (English and Spanish)
  4. Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (English and Spanish)
  5. Addressing Competitiveness (English)
  6. Tech Fund and Auction Revenue (English)
  7. California AB32 (English)
  8. California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (English)
  9. California Offsets (English and Spanish)
  10. Alberta Climate Change Program (English)
  11. BC Offsets (English)
  12. RGGI (English)


The Paris Agreement created a framework for countries to cooperate on carbon pricing and carbon markets. This framework is enshrined in Article 6 of the Agreement which allows countries to transfer mitigation outcomes (ITMO’s), build a new mechanism for mitigation, and account and report on emissions reductions that cross international borders. This 101 guide will help you understand Article 6 in more detail.

Download the English or Spanish version


Why do flexible market-based instruments matter in tackling climate change? This document describes the environmental and socio-economic benefits of emissions trading, and how this preferred policy instrument can achieve climate policy objectives at least cost to the economy while driving clean innovation, investment and cross-border partnerships.

Download the English or Spanish version


More than 40 jurisdictions around the world – at both national and sub-national levels – are designing or implementing cap-and-trade programs. What are the fundamental design features of these programs? This document describes the core design components, including coverage, scope, allocation, compliance periods, flexible cost-containment options, and more.

Download the English or Spanish version


How are greenhouse gas emissions measured, collected, compiled and reported for a program and verified? This document describes the greenhouse gas Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) process, and how it is applied to compliance entities and other market participants.

Download the English or Spanish version

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 Special thanks to Ruby Canyon Engineering for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


This document illustrates how addressing economic competitiveness is a critical dimension to smart carbon pricing design. It describes how cap-and-trade programs can effectively address competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns.

Download the English version


A clean technology fund (“tech fund”) can be established to achieve a number of climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. IETA's 101 focuses on tech fund design and governance elements in a regulatory compliance context. The briefing also highlights key features and considerations linked to cap-and-trade auction revenue and proceeds, with a focus on North America's existing programs.

Download the English version

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        Special thanks to Delphi Group for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


This document describes California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), and how the legislation directs the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop a range of measures, including cap-and-trade, to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Download the English version


What are the objectives and core design features of California’s new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)? This document describes the LCFS, the sectors that are impacted, compliance tools, and the measure’s relationship with California’s cap-and-trade program.

Download the English version

Special thanks to Latham & Watkins LLP for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


This document provides a high-level overview of California’s compliance greenhouse gas offsets program. The briefing details essential offsets criteria, benefits, risks, protocols, issuance and pricing features.

Download the English or Spanish version


IETA's 101 summarizes Alberta's climate change program, the first fully-operational regulatory greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading program in North America. The Briefing covers Alberta's Specified Gas Reporting Regulation (SGRR) and Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER), with a focus on core design elements, flexible compliance options (including Alberta's Tech Fund) and outcomes linked to SGER since 2008.

Download the English version

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Special thanks to Dentons for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


This document provides an introduction to British Columbia (BC)’s carbon offsets market and also describes the “made in BC” offsets approach, the market’s environmental and socio-economic impact, and projects currently underway across the province.

Download the English version

Special thanks to Brinkman Climate and Naturebank for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


'The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) represents North America’s first compliance greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program. This document summarizes RGGI’s core design and implementation features, program outcomes to date, and recent modifications and outlooks.

Download the English version

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Special thanks to Capital Power for their support in developing IETA’s 101.


The use of these 101s are for personal and informational use only.  If you require the information to be used commercially, please contact secretariat@ieta.org for consent prior to use.

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