The article has presented the assumptions underlying the organization of emissions trading of greenhouse gases with a particular emphasis on CO2 emission allowances. Through the analysis of the literature, international activities were undertaken aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, starting from the First World Climate Conference organized in 1979. The origins and guidelines of the Kyoto Protocol were also given considerable attention. In addition to the description of the key assumptions of the Protocol and its main components, the characteristics of international trade in Kyoto units were also included. The mechanisms involved in international trade and the types of units traded in a detailed manner are described. In the next part of the article, emission trading systems operating in the world are characterized. In the second part of the paper special attention was paid to the conditionings of the European market, i.e. European Emissions Trading System – EU ETS. Historical events were presented that gave rise to the creation of the EU ETS. In the next steps, the types of units that are tradable were described. Furthermore, the trade commodity exchanges on which trade is conducted, the key factors determining the price of individual allowances are also indicated. In the last part of the article, relatively recent issues – the IED Directive and the BAT conclusions have been pointed out. Referring to the applicable regulations, the impact of their implementation on the situation of entities obliged to limit greenhouse gas emissions was analyzed. In the final phase, an attempt was made to assess the impact of IED and BAT to electricity prices.