Schneider Electric chief backs higher, stable CO2 price -FT

Published 17:10 on April 21, 2015  /  Last updated at 22:24 on April 21, 2015  /  Climate Talks, International  /  No Comments

Governments must put a meaningful price on carbon to drive emission reductions worldwide, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of French energy management company Schneider Electric, told the FT.

Governments must put a meaningful price on carbon to drive emission reductions worldwide, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of French energy management company Schneider Electric, told the FT.

He will be one of an expected 1,200 senior figures attending Climate Week from May 18-24, an annual business event that this year shifts from New York to Paris ahead of the December UN climate summit in the French capital.

At Climate Week, business leaders will aim to craft key recommendations for governments at that meeting.

“The (carbon) price needs to be high enough to make a difference and not volatile, so companies can factor the price into their long-term planning,” Tricoire said in an FT interview ($).

“Before it has been difficult for policy makers to take a position because of industrialists saying no to a carbon price because it will price us out the market . . . today I expect a commitment of a majority for carbon pricing.”

GLOBAL PUSH

Last year, over 1,000 businesses, along with 73 governments and 22 sub-national administrations representing 54% of global emissions and 52% of GDP, signalled their support for carbon pricing at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Leadership Summit.

Almost a quarter of global emissions are regulated by over 60 carbon pricing initiatives worldwide, but with prices in cap-and-trade schemes mostly below $13/tonne, few are driving the investments in low carbon technology to match what scientists say is needed to keep global temperatures from rising beyond 2C.

A strong deal in Paris could help encourage and facilitate the growth and integration of carbon pricing worldwide, though direct references in the final text may only take the form of general frameworks to further work on coming up with common standards for such initiatives.

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

While multinational companies speak out in favour of carbon pricing at global level, they are often members of trade associations that are lobbying against imposing tougher climate policies regionally and nationally, complaining that competitors in other regions wouldn’t face similar regulations.

Last month, UK think tank Policy Studies Institute said companies making strong climate commitments needed to ensure their trade associations were aligned in those views.

Last year, Unilever downgraded of its membership last year to lobby group BusinessEurope, of which Schneider Electric is also a member via French industry federation Medef.

By Ben Garside- ben@carbon-pulse.com