Euronext in Carbon Emissions Exchange Partnership
The partners plan to launch the exchange for greenhouse gas emissions within the European Union by March 2005 after signing a letter of intent last month.
"The confrontation of the supply and demand in a unique environment will insure the best possible liquidity," they said in a joint statement.
Powernext manages an electricity exchange in France. Caisse des Depots et Consignations is a public financial institution and Euronext already operates in equity and derivatives markets.
European carbon dioxide emissions trade has taken off as companies gear up for the January launch of European Union-wide rules to curb greenhouse gas pollution, according to analysts and brokers.
The EU scheme, a key part of the bloc's efforts to meet commitments under the Kyoto climate change protocol, will create the world's first international market in carbon emissions.
Sites that exceed their pollution targets will have to buy extra quotas from companies that undershoot their goals.
At least four European energy bourses, including London's IPE and Germany's European Energy Exchange, have plans to launch carbon contracts.
Most trade is being done by Western European utilities and energy companies that are used to dealing in commodities.