Traders working at the New York Mercantile Exchange
Traders working at the New York Mercantile Exchange - 
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Scott Jagow: The New York Mercantile Exchange and some big Wall Street banks plan to open a new exchange. Not for trading stocks -- for trading carbon emissions. Sarah Gardner reports from our Sustainability Desk.

Sarah Gardner: The "Green Exchange" will open early next year. NYMEX and its partners want a piece of the fast-growing market in carbon allowances. Greenhouse gases are already capped and traded in Europe, and they soon will be in some U.S. states.

Carbon expert Peter Fusaro says the financial markets foresee the future more clearly than the White House:

Peter Fusaro: It's been a real disconnect not having federal leadership here. Wall Street already gets it.

Fusaro expects other carbon markets to emerge as well, but he says the Green Exchange has a leg up. NYMEX is the world's largest commodities exchange, and big carbon emitters like energy companies already trade there.

Andrew Ertel, CEO of Evolution Markets, says the Green Exchange won't just trade carbon credits.

Andrew Ertel: It will also cover everything from renewables to emissions to potentially water trading in the future.

Ertel figures close to $75 billion was traded in carbon credits this year alone.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner