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Bidding War For Carbon Traders Pushes Base Salaries to $150,000 to $200,000

Green schemes on three continents have pushed up base salaries for carbon traders, but what good will trading do?
European Union Plans

With the US, EU, and China eyeing plans for carbon taxes, Energy Traders Get Big Money in Emissions Markets

Big energy trading houses, long focused on deep, volatile markets such as oil and natural gas, are now bulking up their carbon-trading operations as governments around the world push to expand the market for trading carbon emissions.

Two of the world’s biggest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BP PLC, already have significant carbon-emissions trading arms, thanks to a relatively well-developed carbon market in Europe. Big carbon emitters such as steel producers receive emission allowances, and can buy more to stay under European emissions guidelines. Companies that fall below those limits can sell their excess carbon-emissions allowances.

The value of the carbon market could exceed the oil market’s value by 2030, possibly even by 2025 if swift action is taken and regulations are implemented, said former oil trader Hannah Hauman, who leads Trafigura’s carbon desk, which was launched in April. The company said it is recruiting to build up its team.

Glencore hired two former BP traders—appointing Jamie Wallace as head of Asia-Pacific carbon trading and Richard Mao as head of China carbon trading—to expand its carbon-trading desk.

Earlier this year, BP increased the salaries of its carbon traders in an effort to retain staffers, people familiar with the matter said. An experienced carbon trader’s base salary can be roughly $150,000 to $200,000, although a lot of compensation occurs via bonuses, traders said.

Carbon makes up about 5% to 10% of BP’s trading activities and has contributed between $50 million and $100 million to trading profits annually for the past two years, according to the people familiar with the operation. BP’s overall annual trading profits were between $3.5 billion and $4 billion during the past two years, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In the EU, the biggest polluters got the most initial credits. Then by doing a little work at reducing pollution, they get to trade their credits to someone else. 

Oil companies can get credits for stopping drilling. But trading does not reduce emissions, it just shifts who produces them. 

But hey, the idea has created $200,000 base salary jobs for swapping credits from one company to another. 

Why Big Oil Changed Its Tune Embracing Clean Energy

  • Oil companies expect to get paid to keep oil in the ground. 
  • This preserves dwindling reserves and drives up prices. 
  • The oil companies can trade energy credits making still more money. 
  • The money the oil companies make for not doing anything can be funnelled into  taxpayer subsidized offshore wind farms etc. 

Biden says his proposals will not add to inflation. Yet, every clean energy proposal has costs. Taxpayers will pay those costs.


A push to 80% clean energy by 2030 is very stagflationary. 

Trump's Global Trade War Was Over Manufacturing, Biden's Will Be Over Clean Energy

Bidding wars for carbon traders are just a start of what's coming. 

On deck are useless and likely even fraudulent schemes once the lobbyists insert their footprint into Biden's $3.5 trillion package.

And these plans are certain to cause trade wars as well. 

For discussion, please see Trump's Global Trade War Was Over Manufacturing, Biden's Will Be Over Clean Energy

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