Businesses ahead of governments on carbon pricing, report finds

15th September 2014

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  • Carbon Trading



Large public companies are advanced in their use of carbon pricing even where there is no national price imposed, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

In its annual survey on the business implications of climate change, the CDP found a total of 150 major corporations use, or are beginning to incorporate, an internal price of carbon.

It reports that 67 of these firms are in Europe, 28 in the US and 23 across Oceania.

UK companies applying carbon pricing include Aviva, Barclays, British Airways, BP, BSkyB, Centrica and National Grid.

The majority did not disclose prices, but where they did, it ranged between $15 per tonne (independent energy company Devon Energy Corporation) to $84-324 per tonne (utility infrastructure company Pennon Group).

Over 200 companies told the CDP that they are directly engaging with policymakers in support of carbon pricing legislation. Many companies report that carbon pricing represents an opportunity for their business – 252 of these are in Europe, 152 in Asia and 112 in the US.

The CDP concludes that there is now a global corporate consensus that carbon will be priced and that businesses are preparing for a robust, internationally-linked carbon market.

These companies would welcome regulatory certainty on climate change policy and carbon pricing nationally and internationally, CDP says.

However, some companies in developing countries, especially heavy emitters, such as steel and mining company Arcelor Mital South Africa and aggregates company PPC told the CDP that they feel competitively disadvantaged by carbon pricing.

Meanwhile, the World Bank is planning to issue a statement next week at the UN climate summit demanding that more countries follow the 40 national and 20 sub-nation jurisdictions that have already implemented carbon-pricing schemes, or are in the process of doing so.

The bank believes such arrangement help to reduce the costs of climate change and encourage investment in renewables and low-carbon activities.

It also says that businesses increasingly see carbon pricing as the most efficient and cost effective means of reducing emissions.

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