LONDON, — Barclays Capital has launched the first index to track the performance of carbon credits issued though major greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes.

The Barclays Capital Global Carbon Index is meant to be a comprehensive benchmark for the carbon emissions market and is governed by the Barclays Capital Environmental Markets Index Committee.

Initially it will track carbon credits associated with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU Allowances) and the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (Certified Emission Reductions), and add new schemes as they develop.

"The BGCI offers investors direct and transparent access to the global carbon arena, which has the potential to become one of the world's largest and most important commodities markets," said Harshika Patel, head of environmental markets product and business development for Barclays.

Barclays Capital is the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC.