The landmark Paris Agreement to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy marked a sea change in the global fight against climate change. A swelling tide of carbon-limiting regulations has since emerged, shifting the narrative from what once was a largely ethical debate about the sustainability of our planet for future generations, to a material set of risks and opportunities for the global economy and financial markets, today.
Earlier this month, a new kind of player emerged on carbon pricing: colleges and universities. They are not only implementing carbon prices; they are researching and sharing their work. Casey Pickett provides a recap from the launch of the Toolkit for Internal Carbon Pricing in Higher Education and calls for greater engagement from leaders in higher-education.
The impacts of the changing climate are becoming increasingly evident, especially for the most vulnerable people in the world. We must limit the carbon and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. There is no Plan B because, as President Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has said, “There is no Planet B.”
In the wake of the historic Paris Agreement, new partnerships are emerging around the world to keep the momentum on climate action going — including the Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas. Neydi Cruz, Angela Churie Kallhauge, Dirk Forrister, and Nathaniel Keohane lay out the background to the Declaration and what the partners have achieved since its December 2017 signing.
As the global economy heads towards large scale carbon emission reductions, implementation will be challenging for some and progress may be limited as a result. But as has been the case in all aspects of economic growth over many centuries, trade should be fully utilised to solve these issues and move forward.
Much of global climate action today is focused on tackling emissions from the energy sector and industrial activities. The importance of decarbonizing transport, a sector that produces around one quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, has been rather under-appreciated. In the United States, transportation has overtaken power generation as the number one emitter of carbon emissions. And with ever increasing demand for mobility and the rise of renewables in the power sector, transportation’s slice of the global emissions pie is expected to grow further, unless a concerted global effort to is undertaken to buck the tide.
Ukrgasbank has become the first ECO-bank in Ukraine, to support renewable energy projects and introduce environmental standards in manufacturing, transport and social life of every Ukrainian.
In 2017, we continued to see steady growth of carbon pricing in Asia. Some of the encouraging trends include China’s launching its national emission trading system (ETS) in December 2017, Kazakhstan restarting its ETS in 2018 after a two-year suspension, Korean introducing new design reforms in the ETS, Singapore preparing to implement a carbon tax from 2019 and India declaring its intention to launch a voluntary carbon market in the country.
I was one of the architects behind the CPLC, and have recently moved to a new position to help the International Finance Corporation promote private sector-led development. Departing put me in reflective mode: how did this unique, impactful initiative come to exist? And can a bottom-up, public-private initiative, provide lessons to those seeking new models to tackle other global challenges?
Pricing carbon risk provides a strategic link between environmental and financial performance, strengthening the business case for proactively mitigating climate-related risks.
Worldwide, the private sector is increasingly acknowledging the business case for investing in climate business opportunities and climate risk management. However, the question of which management approaches are most appropriate for each company is still being explored.
In a recent webinar on designing and implementing internal carbon pricing hosted by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Yale University, Unilever - one of the largest consumer goods company in the world - discussed some approaches that businesses can take, and have already taken, to implement such measures.
Our experience illustrates the transformational innovation of this multilevel, multilateral coalition: non-governmental organizations, governments, UN agencies, businesses, banks, and universities, come together around one table, and work as peers to design and to facilitate the deployment of smart carbon pricing, across the world. Such multilevel collaboration is essential to achieving the optimal timeline to full-spectrum inclusive climate prosperity.
People often ask me what the CPLC does and what sets us apart among all those advocating for climate action. My response is that the CPLC is unique because of the myriad backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of its partners, as well as the ways in which the richness of this diversity is incorporated into its leadership style.
The Indian government has adopted some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy targets, which are a centerpiece of its strategy to address climate change. Now, 40 Indian companies are joining the national effort by setting a price on their internal carbon emissions, which can facilitate greener decision-making.
While inland transport was included in the 2015 Paris Agreement and international air transport followed suit in 2016, progress in the international shipping sector, which carries 80% of the world’s trade volume, has been more modest. Back in 2011, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) did adopt a set of operational and technical measures to increase the energy efficiency of vessels. Realistically though, it may take about 25-30 years to renew the world’s entire fleet and make all new vessels fully compliant with IMO’s technical requirements.
Setting sail. To ensure ambitious contribution by the shipping sector to the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals, France initiated the Tony de Brum Declaration in December 2017. Presented by Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Declaration has been signed today by 38 countries already.
To address the global development risks posed by climate change, a major technological shift leading to a substantial reduction in the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be necessary. In parallel, the substantial global economic and development distortions - that lead to inequality - do not enable the technological and financial transfers needed for a sustainable and equitable global economy. This brings us to a fundamental question: when climate change only imposes an additional threat of unseen scale, how can we change the economic status-quo?