European Climate Exchange

The European Climate Exchange (ECX), earlier a subsidiary company of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and now a sister concern, is one of the two third party sources of carbon credits. A holding company, Climate Exchange Plc., owns both ECX and CCX, along with another company, IFEX. Climate Exchange Plc was founded by Richard Sandor and is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a sub market of the London Stock Exchange. In April 2010, ECX was taken over by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

The ECX handles the development and marketing of Carbon Financial Instruments (ECX CFIs), which are listed and traded on ICE Futures Europe, the leading market for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. ECX / ICE Futures offers derivative contracts of different types of carbon emissions units based on Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) And EU Allowances (EUAs). It is the most liquid electronic platform for trading carbon emissions and accounts for more than three fourth of all traded volume.

Established in 2005, ECX was the first to offer emissions products for trading by listing products on the trading platform of ICE Futures Europe. It offers standardized products and ICE Clear Europe serves as a clearing house for trades. Before November 2008, this function was performed by LCH Clearnet, an independent clearing house.

Members who have signed up for membership include some well-known corporate business houses such as British Petroleum, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Shell, Morgan Stanley and Fortis. Non members wishing to trade in carbon emissions can route their order through banks and brokers.

The European Climate Exchange has had its share of controversies and troubles. On April 1, 2010, Camp for Climate Action held a protest in front of the exchange in Bishopsgate, City of London against trading of carbon emissions claiming that it was not the correct solution to the problems due to carbon emissions.

The matter did not stop at that as on 23rd July 2010, motivated by the same contention that it was a false solution to climate change; a hacktivist (hack plus activist) group that called itself decocidio #ϴ targeted the ECX website. It was only after 22 hours that the organizers could restore the site.