Global businesses support putting a price on carbon emissions

November 29th, 2012 by University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership

Over one hundred international companies, including Shell, Unilever, Cathay Pacific, EDF Energy, Braskem, Statoil, Swiss Re, Ricoh and Skanska, endorsed the Carbon Price Communiqué, which was presented on 19 November 2012 to the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, and distinguished Ambassadors to the EU at an event in Brussels.

The Communiqué calls on policy makers to focus on achieving a clear, transparent and unambiguous global carbon price to underpin the investment needed to deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

It the implementation of carbon pricing systems in some advanced developing countries and regions and calls for such measures to be expanded.

Connie Hedegaard said “we are fully supportive of this initiative from leading companies.”

The European experience confirms that putting a price on carbon stimulates emissions reduction.”

“The Emissions Trading System (ETS) is Europe’s flagship tool to meet our emission reduction target for 2020.

We are planning to link our system with Australia’s and encourage more countries to join the ETS family in order to drive down emissions globally.”

The Communiqué, coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, with contributions from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Emissions Trading Association, was issued a week before Ministers met at the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Doha, Qatar.

The Communiqué argues that “a clear, stable, ambitious and cost-­‐effective policy framework is essential to underpin the investment needed to deliver substantial greenhouse gas emissions […] putting a clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon must be a core policy objective.”

The businesses believe a market-­driven carbon price would offer regulatory certainty and create a level playing field to drive low-­‐carbon investment and innovation.

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

Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman of Shell UK said “emissions trading schemes have huge potential to deliver real change. 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.”

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

The Communiqué notes “a key lesson from existing systems is that without sufficient ambition the carbon price signal will not effectively drive investment or raise significant funds […] carbon pricing is not a silver bullet, but in combination with other locally appropriate policies, the scope for change is enormous.”

Philippe Joubert Chair of The Prince of Wales’s EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change said “the message from business is clear: a serious, ambitious and meaningful carbon pricing mechanism is essential to incentivise investment in a low-­‐carbon economy and sustainably drive significant emissions reductions.”


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