Carbon prices worldwide must reach a level of around €30 a tonne to change behaviour of big-emitting industries, France’s environment minister Segolene Royal said Thursday.
“We think we need to reach about €30 (a tonne),” Royal told a World Bank-hosted panel discussion in Washington DC ahead of the group’s annual spring meeting.
She added that carbon pricing policies should be co-ordinated globally to avoid competitiveness issues, and should also be foreseeable and stable, in line with a recent taskforce she formed to help drive carbon market reforms at EU level.
Royal has recently assumed the role of president of the UN climate negotiations in the run-up to the next annual meeting in November in Morocco, giving her a global platform to drive action.
Also on the panel, Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna touted Ontario’s efforts to create a cap-and-trade scheme that will eventually link to a market with WCI partners Quebec and California.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim welcomed the advancing of carbon pricing around the world, which he pointed out is set to rapidly increase from current coverage of around 12% of global emissions once China launches its national ETS in 2017.
But he called for more urgency in helping poorer nations finance cleaner energy projects, to avoid locking in high-carbon energy infrastructure.
“We are talking about 50-year investments here. We are not yet having the conversation about how to most urgently tackle these issues. It’s not quite gelled yet,” he said, citing the 60GW of new coal-fired power under consideration in Vietnam.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org