How can we design effective regulation for carbon markets worldwide? 


Government regulation created carbon markets. How can one prevent the occurrence of market abuses in this context? Given that carbon market creators possess ample information able to assist with market monitoring, this project aims to investigate past carbon market abuses, to identify the gaps in oversight frameworks that led to those abuses, and to create new rules and principles for carbon market regulation effective on all levels.

The research questions guiding this project are as follows:

– What principles and rules should guide an effective and feasible multi‐level carbon market regulatory oversight?

– What were the risks of market abuse in the past, how can they be detected, and what are the potential future risks?

– To what extent are existing market regulations and enforcement practices addressing the risks identified?

– How can cooperation be achieved for effective carbon market regulation and oversight at an international level?

– What are the requirements for a feasible and effective regulation for carbon markets at an international, national, and subnational level?

In order to address the complexity of these issues the methodology employed combines several threads. In the first phase researchers will construct an organizational typology of the markets; in a second phase primary data are categorized based on document-based content analyses in conjunction with interview-based information; in the third phase the results of the first two phases are combined. 

Project Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Carbon
  • Markets
  • Regulation
  • Environment


  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Law


International Organisations


NGOs, States or other institutions

  • Carbon Market Watch
  • Germanwatch

Relevant Countries

  • All countries


This is an ongoing project, which started in autumn 2018. The information here is updated regularly. If you have any inquiries please don’t hesitate to contact the project team via the form below.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Regina Betz
Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW

Katharina Michaelowa
University of Zurich

Andrea Baranzini
Principal Member
Haute école de gestion, Geneva

Rainer Baisch
Principal Member
University of Zurich

Paula Castro
Principal Member
University of Zurich

Axel Michaelowa
Principal Member
University of Zurich

Peter Schwendner
Principal Member
Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Michael Mehling
Associated Member
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rolf H. Weber
Associated Member
University of Zurich