Emissions drop shows carbon markets are working, says Point Carbon

While the economic downturn has inevitably had a significant impact on industrial emissions due to falling output, cap and trade has also played its part by setting a high carbon price in the first part of the year, encouraging fuel switching.

"Gas was used much more in 2008 in comparison to 2007, this was because gas prices were more competitive due to the high price of carbon, which made gas less expensive than coal," says Kjersti Ulset, manager of European carbon analysis at Point Carbon.