A half dozen heads of state joined forces with leaders of cities and corporations on Monday (19 October) to call for wider adoption of carbon pricing policies ahead of a United Nations climate change summit in Paris in December.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Philippines President Benigno Aquino III and French President François Hollande were among the world leaders who issued a joint statement through the World Bank urging governments and businesses to set up carbon markets and tax carbon emissions.
Representatives from 190 countries are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week, for last-round discussions on the language of a global climate change agreement. The global deal would require developing and developed countries to adopt policies to curb carbon emissions.
A draft of the agreement to be approved in Paris currently excludes language on carbon pricing because some countries are opposed to the use of markets to address climate change.
“We should advance our effort along this path further so that we can actually reach our goal,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in the statement.
Convened by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the high-level Carbon Pricing Panel is calling on their peers to follow their lead and put a price on carbon. Private sector support is led by Anne Stausboll, CEO of US Institutional Investor CalPERS, Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of ENGIE of France, Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group of India, and Feike Sijbesma, Chairman and CEO of Netherlands-based Royal DSM.
As the European Union continues to refine its own emissions trading scheme and the world’s biggest emitter China launches its own national market next year, some countries and companies have pushed for a UN climate agreement to create rules to enable international trading.
Separately, US President Barack Obama on Monday announced that 81 companies have backed a US-sponsored pledge supporting action to combat climate change. The pledge’s signatories span the spectrum of major American corporations, and include Bank of America, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Berkshire Hathaway.
Obama name-checked WalMart Stores Inc for installing solar capacity, Intel, which has invested in energy and water conservation programs, and Google, Apple and Costco for their purchases of renewable energy, among others.
“The perception is that this is an environmental issue, it’s for tree-huggers, and that hard-headed business people either don’t care about it or see it as a conflict with their bottom lines,” Obama told reporters after the meeting.
“I just want everybody to understand that American businesses want this to happen as well,” he said.