Worldwide support carbon pricing

4 Oct 2014

The World Bank has issued the statement We Support Putting a Price on Carbon, a call to action signed by 73 countries, more than 1,000 businesses and 340 institutional investors with more than $24 trillion in assets.

This ‘wave’ of support for carbon pricing is a major breakthrough.

[The statement] "signals the broadest, most explicit effort to date of world leaders and financial institutions to push all nations to enact new taxes on old forms of energy" (Financial Times)

From the World Bank website:

Leaders from across government and business are sending a clear message to the world this week that climate change is a risk that cannot be ignored, and, importantly, that they are ready to work together to bring down emissions.

Seventy-three countries and 11 states and provinces – together responsible for 54 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 52 percent of GDP – joined 11 cities and over 1,000 businesses and investors in signaling their support for carbon pricing through a series of initiatives being announced at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Leadership Summit on Tuesday. 

The list includes countries like China and South Africa that are planning carbon pricing, as well as Russia and countries at high risk from climate change, like the Marshall Islands. It includes business ranging across industryenergy and transportation, and institutional investors with more than $24 trillion in assets.

[Update: The count rose during the Summit to 74 countries and 23 subnational jurisdictions with the additions of the Czech Republic and Lagos State].

This is a wake-up moment. Carbon pricing if expanded to this scale and then globally has the potential to bring down emissions in a way that supports clean energy and low-carbon growth while giving businesses the flexibility to innovate and find the most efficient choices.  

“The science is clear. The economics are compelling. We are seeing a shift toward the economic architecture that will be necessary to avoid a 2-degree-warmer world, an architecture that supports green growth, jobs and competitiveness,” said World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change Rachel Kyte.

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