International businesses reiterate support for carbon pricing

22nd May 2015


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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Conventional ,
  • Generation

Author

Adam Bell

Over 6.5 million companies from more than 25 global business networks have pledged support for carbon pricing at a meeting in Paris ahead of UN climate change negotiations in December.

The business and climate summit was staged after the UN secretary general called on the private sector last September to take a more active role in the global decarbonisation process.

Along with carbon pricing, participating companies want an alliance to be forged between the business community and governments to help integrate climate policies into the mainstream economy. They also called on policymakers to put in place measures that reduce risks from investing in low-carbon assets.

They said that national governments should be more ambitious in their carbon emission reduction pledges ahead of the Paris talks. Known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), the pledges submitted to the UN so far by countries were criticised earlier this month by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change for not going far enough to stop global temperature increasing by more than 2ºC.

The companies attending the summit promised to actively support policymakers who set clear frameworks to accelerate investment and deployment of climate-friendly solutions.

They also called for business sustainability strategies to be set in line with climate science. Earlier this week, the CDP, UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF launched a new tool to enable businesses in sectors releasing the most emissions to set targets in line with science.

Also at the summit, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi told delegates that the kingdom could see a time when fossil fuels would no longer be necessary. “I don’t know when, in 2040, 2050 or thereafter,” he said, according to a report in the Financial Times. Saudi Arabia is planning to become a global power in solar and wind energy, and could become an exporter of electricity instead of fossil fuels, he said.

The minister added, however, that calls to leave the bulk of the world’s known fossil fuels in the ground to avoid risky levels of climate change needed to be put “in the back of our heads for a while”.

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