Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels already carry a hefty price, though people are rarely aware of it. The bill comes to all of us masked in public health care costs, harm to the environment, and the effects of
But what if the cost of carbon emissions was instead paid at the source, where choices about fuel use are made? How would that change the incentive structure underpinning our global reliance on fossil fuels?
That's the idea behind carbon pricing. It shifts the social costs of climate change to the source of the pollution, encouraging polluters to reduce emissions and invest in clean energy and low-carbon growth.
So how do we put a price on carbon, and why do so many government and business leaders support it?
In September 2014, the idea of a Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition formed from a groundswell of support for carbon pricing at the UN Climate Summit, where 74 countries and more than 1,000 companies expressed support for carbon pricing. The Coalition officially launched at COP21 in Paris, with the goal to expand the use of effective carbon pricing policies that can maintain competitiveness, create jobs, encourage innovation, and deliver meaningful emissions reductions.
On October 19, 2015, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde launched The Carbon Pricing Panel with heads of government and supported by private sector leaders.
Panel members are demonstrating leadership and calling on their peers to join them in putting a price on carbon.
A growing number of leaders – national, local and corporate – are speaking out in support of carbon pricing. Listen as they describe their experiences with carbon pricing and the reasons they consider it a powerful and efficient way to reduce emissions.