Disney, Microsoft and Shell opt for self-imposed carbon emissions taxes

8 Apr 2013

From: Marc Gunther, Guardian Sustainable Business, 26 March 2013.

"Although most of the world's governments have declined to put a price on carbon emissions, a handful of global companies, including Microsoft and Shell, have chosen to act on their own. They have established internal carbon prices in an effort to reduce emissions, promote energy efficiency and encourage the use of cleaner sources of power, just as a government tax or cap-and-trade program would."

At Disney, "The tax, the price of which depends upon the costs of offsets and the volume needed by Disney to reach its emissions targets, has been set at between $10and $20 a ton and has raised about $35m so far."

"Shell has set the highest carbon price, about $40, but no money actually changes hands inside the company, according to Angus Gillespie, the firm's vice-president for CO2 strategy. Instead, the price is used to guide capital allocation, with the oil industry's long-term investment horizons in mind: "It's based on the level of mitigation that we, Shell, think is necessary to make sure that our products are robust in the long term. This is Shell internally mimicking the system we'd like to see."

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