Pacific Rim countries risk being “left behind” without CO2 pricing -World Bank official

Published 20:56 on September 2, 2015  /  Last updated at 08:24 on September 3, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Carbon Taxes, International, New Market Mechanisms, Other APAC  /  No Comments

So many Pacific Rim countries are implementing carbon pricing measures that those not doing so risk falling behind, the World Bank’s vice president and climate envoy Rachel Kyte said Wednesday.

So many Pacific Rim countries are implementing carbon pricing measures that those not doing so risk falling behind, the World Bank’s vice president and climate envoy Rachel Kyte said Wednesday.

“If you are in the Pacific Rim and you are not pricing carbon now, you’re going to be left behind because almost everybody else is,” she said during a Q&A event web-streamed on the World Bank’s website.

The World Bank has long urged nations to impose carbon pricing to tackle climate change and has co-ordinated the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) to share knowledge between jurisdictions.

Some 17 nations are PMR members seeking to tap funding to help deploy carbon pricing, including Pacific Rim nations China, Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

NEW PRINCIPLES

Kyte said later this month the World Bank will publish a set of principles designed to guide governments seeking to implement carbon pricing measures.

“We think we’ve learned so much about this now that we can actually bring them forward as principles.”

The principles will be presented at the UN General Assembly and the Climate Week event in New York over Sep. 21-28.

Kyte said the principles will be wide-ranging, whether countries decide to set carbon taxes, introduce market instruments or hybrid policies, or perform measures for certain parts of the economy.

She said the principles included the following recommendations for any policy:

– It needs to be fair (i.e. take care of those most vulnerable to cost of living increases)

– It needs to be transparent (i.e. people have to trust it)

– It needs to be purposeful (i.e. reduce the amount of CO2 in economy)

Kyte said countries needed to act quickly: “You should be working out how to get prices right … You should be saying how you’re going to do it in Paris and it should be in your INDC.”

GLOBAL SCALE UP

Kyte said efforts to deploy carbon pricing would emerge gradually and not via a single globally-imposed measure.

“We are not calling for a global carbon price of X or Y. That moment may have been here, then it passed, and that was about 20 years ago.”

“You are going to see an emerging, globally-networked set of carbon prices. Then the conversation down the line becomes how to link these different regimes and markets with different prices.”

The World Bank’s Networked Carbon Markets programme has since 2013 studied how various carbon pricing mechanisms can be comparable and compatible.

Various programmes would be rated for their stringency, potentially allowing developing nations to sell emission reductions to other countries that are overshooting their emission goals.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com

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