Businesses want carbon pricing

26 May 2015

The Business & Climate Summit held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on May 20-21, brought together 2,000 leading businesses and investors with national and international policymakers to make the case that bold action on climate will ensure economic growth while limiting global temperature rise to less than +2°C.

An unprecedented mobilisation of 25 worldwide business networks representing over 6.5 million companies from more than 130 countries pledged to lead the global transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient economy. At the Business & Climate Summit, there was a recognition that leading businesses are already taking action to build the prosperous, low- carbon economy of the future. In all sectors, business has developed solutions, continues to innovate and is preparing to accelerate the scale and pace of deployment.

Business leaders at the Summit made a number of calls to policymakers for more climate action and to introduce climate policies. Amongst these was the introduction of robust and effective carbon pricing mechanisms as a key component to gear investment and orient consumer behaviour towards low-carbon solutions and achieve global net emissions reduction at the least economic costs. (A summary sheet can be found here).

CEO after CEO from every sector (including oil and gas) asked governments to put a price on carbon emissions. Supporting this message, speakers included François Hollande (President of the French Republic), Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC), Angel Gurria (Secretary-General of the OECD) and Rachel Kyte (World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change).

The OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria summarized the sessions as follows: "We should hit Carbon on the head with a big fat price!"

This surge of global support for carbon pricing is a beacon for the agenda of The Ex'tax Project for taxation of natural resource use and pollution. 

Dutch television interviewed Feike Sijbesma (Royal DSM), Paul Polman (Unilever) and Paul Simpson (CDP) at the event. 'Businesses want to pay more for pollution' (in Dutch) can be found on RTL news.  

"Carbon pricing is not the only thing, but it helps make the transition. The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones, but because there was something better. The same is true for the Fossil Age; the alternatives are here, let’s move fast into the (Bio-) Renewable Age.”
- Feike Sijbesma, CEO Royal DSM