A World Bank-led initiative to provide support for governments and companies that want to put a price on carbon this week held its inaugural meeting and named its first co-chairs.
French Environment Minister and COP-21 President Segolene Royal and Feike Sijbesma, CEO of the Netherlands-based nutrition and materials company Royal DSM, were appointed to head the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition during the bank’s annual spring meeting in Washington DC.
Both are vocal proponents of carbon pricing, with Royal orchestrating a French proposal to introduce a price floor in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and Sijbesma urging his fellow private sector CPLC members at last year’s Paris climate talks to stop their behind-the-scenes lobbying against efforts to combat climate change.
The first-ever CPLC High-Level Assembly also brought together UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and finance and environment ministers and CEOs of major multinational companies.
In a communiqué released after the meeting, the coalition called for global goals to expand the coverage of GHG emissions by “meaningful carbon pricing systems – as a way to drive collective ambition for the next decade.”
It agreed to advance global progress in designing and using carbon pricing systems, and to regularly report on progress, while also calling for accelerated business support in the form of internal GHG pricing policies.
“This movement needs to rely on three principles: a price that is high enough to change behaviours; a price that is stable and predictable to give economic and financial actors the visibility they need; and a price that is coordinated, such that it is an instrument of cohesion, not of competition,” said Royal.
During a panel discussion on Thursday, Royal said that carbon prices worldwide must reach a level of around €30 a tonne in order to change the behaviour of big-emitting industries.
The coalition will convene leadership dialogues, including one hosted by France and energy company Engie between governments and businesses in Paris on June 10.
The CPLC, which was born out of the 2014 UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York and officially launched at the Paris COP last year, is aimed at providing “political cover” to government leaders who feel isolated by their views, according to CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy Rachel Kyte.
Kyte last December told Carbon Pulse that the coalition is also tasked with attempting to tackle, with the input of the private sector, the difficult underlying issues such as carbon leakage and border tariffs.
Currently around 40 countries and 23 cities, states, and provinces have put a price on carbon, collectively accounting for some 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions globally.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org