Carbon tax and divestment movement are gaining support


If climate change is getting each month more scary, our answers to it are getting bigger. The carbon tax is gaining support as The World Bank reports that no less than 74 countries and over a thousand companies are supporting it.

Here is what the World Bank reported on its website :

Leaders from across government and business are sending a clear message to the world this week that climate change is a risk that cannot be ignored, and, importantly, that they are ready to work together to bring down emissions.

Seventy-three countries and 22 states, provinces and cities – together responsible for 54 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 52 percent of GDP – joined over 1,000 businesses and investors in signaling their support for carbon pricing through a series of initiatives being announced at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Leadership Summit on Tuesday.

The list includes countries like China and South Africa that are planning carbon pricing, as well as Russia and countries at high risk from climate change, like the Marshall Islands. It includes business ranging across industry, energy and transportation, and institutional investors with more than $24 trillion in assets.

[Update: The count rose during the Summit to 74 countries and 23 subnational jurisdictions with the additions of the Czech Republic and Lagos State].

This is a wake-up moment.

Carbon pricing if expanded to this scale and then globally has the potential to bring down emissions in a way that supports clean energy and low-carbon growth while giving businesses the flexibility to innovate and find the most efficient choices.

My guess is that taxing carbon will ultimately take place. Whatever Abbott and the likes say in Australia and elsewhere, taxing carbon is the right thing to do. As Kees van der Leun noted on his Twitter :

What it greenhouse gases emissions were really taxed ? Millions of jobs would be created as energy efficiency and renewables would have more money to keep on growing exponentially and would grow even much faster. A bright prospect, isn’t it ?

 

Meanwhile, the divestment movement gained some serious momentum as the heirs of the Rockfeller family, of oil fame, has divested from fossil fuels companies. The Guardian has more on this story :

The heirs to the fabled Rockefeller oil fortune withdrew their funds from fossil fuel investments on Monday, lending a symbolic boost to a $50bn divestment campaign ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change.

The former vice-president, Al Gore, will present the divestment commitments to world leaders, making the case that investments in oil and coal have an uncertain future.

With Monday’s announcement, more than 800 global investors – including foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers, religious groups, healthcare organisations, cities and universities – have pledged to withdraw a total of $50bn from fossil fuel investments over the next five years.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund controls about $860m in assets, said Beth Dorsey, the chief executive of the Wallace Global Fund and the Divest-Invest movement, which has led the divestment campaign. About 7% are invested in fossil fuels.

But the Rockefellers’ decision to cut their ties with oil lends the divestment campaign huge symbolic importance because of their family history. The divestment move also helps bring a campaign launched by scrappy activists on college campuses into the financial mainstream.

 

I don’t know about you but I believe that unless fossil fuels companies change their core business, their days are numbered… The times they are a-changin’…

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