How to Sell and Exchange Carbon Credits

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Companies are fined heavily for polluting beyond EPA limits.
Companies are fined heavily for polluting beyond EPA limits. (Image: NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Industrial companies with high carbon emissions buy carbon credits from companies with low-emissions to offset the environmental impact of their business. A company is allowed a certain amount of pollution emission before it is fined. With carbon credits, the limit is effectively "raised" to prevent any punitive impact on business operations. Carbon credits are currently only traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Check that your company is eligible to sell and exchange carbon credits on the climate exchange market. Eligible industries usually include farming operations, logging businesses and companies that produce low amount of atmospheric pollution. Email or call the Chicago Climate Exchange for eligibility requirements.

Register with the Chicago Climate Exchange in order to sell and exchange carbon credits in the exchange market. You must contact the CCE by phone or email to begin the registration process. The CCE works like the New York Stock Exchange or other stock markets in that you must register your business and pay an annual participation fee. The participation fee, as of 2011, is $2,500 per year. Carbon credit registration costs 10 cents per ton.

Wait for the CCE to contact you with your login and password for the carbon credit exchange after your registration is approved. You will use your account to list your available carbon credits and to sell the credits to other companies.

Sell your carbon credits to companies in need of carbon emission relief. Like any stock, carbon credit prices are dictated by the supply and demand in the market. In a down market, fewer companies may look to buy carbon credits, driving down prices in the process. Read financial publications and monitor market conditions to decide the right time for selling your credits.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact the Chicago Climate Exchange for additional registration information.
  • 190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1100
  • Chicago, Illinois 60603
  • Tel: (312) 554-3350
  • Fax: (312) 554-3373
  • ccx@theice.com
  • The Chicago Climate Exchange performs audits on random members of its exchange platform. Do not list higher amounts of carbon credits than what you actually produce. Dishonesty can lead to hefty fines and possibly legal proceedings against you or your business.

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