UN: Six leaders, IMF, World Bank, OECD call for concerted action on carbon pricing

New York, US (PANA) - Six heads of state and government, two city and state leaders, and the heads of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) on Thursday agreed on an ambitious global target for putting a price on carbon pollution, PANA reports from New York.  

The leaders, who are all members of the Carbon Pricing Panel, convened by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, challenged the world to expand carbon pricing to cover 25 per cent of global emissions by 2020 – double the current level and to achieve 50 per cent coverage within the next decade.

The call came on the eve of the signing ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and was made by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn, and French President Francois Hollande.

Others are German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, California Governor Edmund Brown, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes and the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

Mr. Kim, who spoke at the event, said: "There is a growing sense of inevitability about putting a price on carbon pollution, in order to deliver on the promises of the historic Paris climate agreement, a price on carbon pollution will be essential to help cut emissions and drive investments into innovation and cleaner technologies."

He noted that "prices for producing renewable energy are falling fast, and putting a price on carbon has the potential to make them even cheaper than fuels that pollute our planet."

The call to expand carbon pricing was supported by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said that "carbon pricing is an invaluable tool for redirecting investments and transforming markets to build low-carbon, climate-resilient economies that will drive prosperity, strengthen security and improve the health and well-being of billions of people."

In a joint vision statement on Thursday, the leaders declared that carbon pricing needs to be implemented faster and further on a global scale to keep to the Paris Conference of Parties (COP21) on Climate Change commitment of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and drive efforts to keep the rise to no more than 1.5°C.

The statement quoted IMF Managing Director Lagarde as saying: "Carbon pricing is the most effective policy for reducing emissions, raises significant revenues, is administratively straightforward, and can have substantial domestic health benefits, and it should be front and center as countries move forward on their mitigation pledges for the landmark Paris Agreement."

She also noted that "the vision statement stresses that putting a price on carbon pollution is one of the most effective policies available for reducing emissions at scale while promoting green growth and creating green jobs."

In support of the global goals in the vision statement, Canada, Chile, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Mexico, California and the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday committed to take specific actions to strengthen and expand carbon pricing mechanisms.

The call by the Carbon Pricing Panel complements the work of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which brings together 24 countries and more than 90 global companies and strategic partners to push for action on carbon pricing by collecting and sharing best practices and mobilizing business support.

At present, some 40 countries and 23 cities, states and regions around the world are using carbon pollution pricing schemes, representing about 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

The schemes, now worth about US$50 billion, cover about 12 per cent of global emissions, which is a threefold increase over the last decade.

The vision statement, which called for that level to double by 2020 and double again within a decade, says it can be done in three ways: by increasing the number of governments putting a price on carbon, deepening existing carbon pricing programmes, and promoting global
-0- PANA AA/VAO 21April2016

21 april 2016 15:14:13

xhtml CSS