The UN Paris Agreement on climate change failed to include setting a global carbon price because it did not attract unanimous country support deemed necessary, according to the UN’s climate chief Christiana Figueres.
Figueres was responding to a question on a panel debate at the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos as to why the agreement struck last month couldn’t secure the policy that many big businesses were seeking.
“The Paris Agreement had to be not consensus, but it had to be unanimous – if there was one country that didn’t agree in 2015, had that been rammed down the throat we would not have a Paris Agreement. It would have been a dealbreaker,” she said.
The 195-nation annual UN climate negotiations have previously been agreed by a loosely-defined consensus with countries including Bolivia and Russia objecting, but diplomats aimed to get unanimous support to ensure the Paris deal has the political clout to stand for decades.
Rather than impose a single global carbon price, the Agreement, which will take effect from 2020, included provisions for countries to meet their emission-curbing pledges via emissions trading and established a new market-based mechanism.
Figueres was speaking on an hour-long webstreamed panel titled A New Climate For Doing Business, which also included Stuart Gulliver of HSBC bank, Feike Sijbesma of Dutch pharmaceutical firm Royal DSM, and Doug McMillion of retailer Walmart.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org