Sean Penrith, The Climate Trust
Weekly Policy and Finance Update – December 19, 2017
|Bottom line | “California has put a price on carbon and at the same time our economy has grown to the 6th largest in the world. We’ll work with states and countries across the Americas—and beyond—to expand the effort.”
– Jerry Brown, Governor, California
Last week was massive. Two years to the day after the Paris Agreement, leaders from Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Governors of Washington and California, and the Premiers of Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia attended the One Planet Summit held in Paris. These leaders declared their commitment to price carbon, to galvanize climate action, and to guide investment priorities. The Carbon Pricing in the Americas Declaration also calls on its signatories to create a platform to align and promote carbon markets, to establish common standards for international carbon markets and enhance regional and international collaboration.
According to Dirk Forrister who heads the International Emissions Trading Association, “the Carbon Pricing segment was the cornerstone of the event. It showed what cooperation in markets can mean in driving mitigation and ambition, tapping into market forces to drive change.” This action cannot come too soon. Current pricing levels for carbon in the 42 national and 25 sub-national jurisdictions around the world are still too low to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement according to Nicholas Stern, the economist at Britain’s Grantham Research Institute. Stern is calling for pricing to hit $40-80 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and $50-100 by 2030.
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, remarked at the Summit, “Carbon pricing can unleash innovation and provide the incentives that industries and consumers need to make sustainable choices. As we strive for greater ambition in implementing the Paris Agreement, I urge all governments and stakeholders to ramp up action on this key instrument for meeting the climate challenge and seizing the opportunities of a resilient and low-carbon future.”
As Oregon heads into our short session in 2018 to consider the cap and invest bill, I hope that we heed Guterres’ urging. Oregon cannot afford to lag if we want to leverage innovation and avoid the future burden of higher carbon costs—a certainty if the path of inaction is chosen.
This will be the last edition of The Climate Trust’s weekly Scorcher policy brief until the New Year. Thank you for reading and happy holidays and a terrific 2018!
Climate change, development, poverty and economics
Nicholas Stern & Samuel Fankhauser, October 2016
Paris Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas
One Planet Summit, December 12, 2017
A truly global response to climate change
Business Day, December 13, 2017
Paris climate summit sets scene for greener investment
Thomson Reuters Foundation, December 12, 2017
We Can Meet the U.S. Paris Commitment without Federal Support
Peter Weisberg, The Climate Trust, February 8, 2017
Ontario’s Auction Emphasizes Political Risk to Cap and Trade System Peter Weisberg, Dec 11, 2017
Do Offsets Affect the Stringency of a Carbon Cap? Sheldon Zakreski, Dec 4, 2017
Bonn Brings Forth Agriculture as a Strategic Priority Sean Penrith, Nov 28, 2017
Image credit: Flickr/Bemep