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Businesses and NGOs call for carbon ambition at Doha

19 Nov 2012 16:59:58 | edcm

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One week ahead of the next Parties of Conference (COP18) in Doha, Qatar, a coalition of more than 100 companies have warned world leaders that they need to put a clear, ambitious, and sufficient price on carbon if they want to foster clean investment and sustainable growth.

Shell, EDF Energy and Statoil are among the companies that have signed the declaration, which was launched and published in Brussels on Monday.

Chair of EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change Philippe Joubert, which issued the declaration, said in a statement: "The message from business is clear: a serious, ambitious and meaningful carbon pricing mechanism is essential to incentivise investment in a low‐carbon economy and sustainably drive significant emissions reductions."

The document stressed that such a carbon price needs to be sufficiently ambitious if it is to direct and raise investment effectively and argues that "putting a clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon must be a core policy objective" for governments as they go into the international negotiations.

The businesses also expressed approval for the increasing number of emissions trading systems (ETS) around the world, including in developing countries, and called for the pricing mechanism to be expanded. China's seven pilot ETS programmes will represent the world's second-biggest carbon market by 2014 and are set to dovetail neatly with parallel developments in Asia and at UN level (see EDCM 12 October 2012).

"Putting a price on CO2 emissions should mean that the lowest-­cost CO2 emission reduction measures are implemented first and that all measures are used," UK Shell chairman Graham van't Hoff said in a statement, adding: "Governments at the UN climate conference should focus on carbon pricing as a key policy objective."

Potential points of progress

Meanwhile, the challenges that countries face to reach a global agreement at Doha remain substantial. "It is unclear if countries will agree to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol," non-governmental organisation (NGO) Market Watch said in a statement on Friday. "The decision is largely dependent on how to deal with the gigantic 13bn surplus of Kyoto emission permits," it added.

Failure to curb the surplus not only threatens the impact of the second commitment period, but also the strength of the EU's international negotiating position, green groups have suggested (see EDCM 26 October 2012).

As the first Kyoto commitment period comes draws to a close at the end of this year, the future of mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation is expected to be discussed at Doha, as well as potential new market mechanisms.

COP18 will run from 26 November until 6 December. MLDB

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