Business backs carbon pricing ahead of UN Doha meeting

Posted at November 21, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Business backs carbon pricing ahead of UN Doha meeting

Over 100 big businesses, including BP, Shell, Unilever, KPMG, Swiss Re and BT, as well as energy companies EDF Energy, Statoil, Doosan, Acciona and Iberdrola, are calling for a global carbon price ahead of the United Nation (UN) climate change summit in Doha, Qatar.

The Communiqué, which has been coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, is being presented to European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard today in Brussels before she heads off to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change next week.

The signatories applaud the implementation of carbon trading systems, like that recently launched in California, but calls for an expansion of such measures and an “unambiguous global carbon price” to drive low-carbon investment and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

An agreed, market-driven carbon price would create a level playing field for low-carbon investment and innovation, as well as much needed policy certainty, says the Communiqué.

“A price on carbon […] can open the door to increased ambition,” it adds.

The European Union has been running its Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for some time, with varying degrees of success, and is now being joined by similar schemes in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and, in a promising move, China.

“Putting a price on CO2 emissions should mean that the lowest-cost CO2 emission reduction measures are implemented first and that all measures are used,” says the chair of Shell Graham van’t Hoff.

“Governments at the UN climate conference should focus on carbon pricing as a key policy objective.”

But while the signatories to the Communiqué admit that a carbon price is “not a silver bullet”, it could in combination with other support mechanisms for low-carbon technology offer enormous scope for change.

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Related stories:
California kicks off cap-and-trade scheme with first auction (15-Nov)
EC freezes plans to include airline emissions in trading system (13-Nov)
EU and Australia set out plans to link carbon trading schemes (5-Sept)
South Korea moves ahead with cap and trade scheme (3-May)

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