Environmental markets are entering 2018 on a tide of optimism after a year of transition dominated by regulatory reforms. Most of the winners in this year's annual Market Rankings believe these changes should lead to bigger, more robust, markets and create possibilities for expansion into new areas.
"The market looks healthier than it has done for years," says Louis Redshaw, founding director of Redshaw Advisors, referring to the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) – the world's largest carbon market.
US carbon specialists are equally bullish. The outlook for the California market "is looking much more positive than it was at the beginning of the year," says Nicolas Girod, head of trading and research at ClearBlue Markets, which was voted Best Advisory/Consultancy for the North American carbon markets.
The confident outlook is based on reforms to the structure of the EU ETS and the North American markets – California and the northeastern Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – that should help correct the imbalance in supply and demand for emission allowances that has prevailed for much of the past decade.
It's a similar story in the markets for renewable energy certificates.
Renewables are also on a roll outside the US. There has been "tremendous growth in renewable energy solutions in Asia, Africa and South America," says Marie Bluett, head of renewable portfolio management at South Pole Group, a multiple winner in this and previous years' polls.
In terms of new markets, all eyes now are on China, which launched a pilot national REC scheme in July and is due to follow up with a national carbon market in the next few weeks.
This article has been shortened for length. Read the original piece on Environmental Finance.