CDP and We Mean Business, a business and investor coalition focused on transitioning to a low-carbon economy, have launched a new set of tools aimed at changing the conversation about effective carbon pricing policies globally, according to an announcement made on Thursday at Climate Week NYC.
The Carbon Pricing Pathways Toolkit presents analysis on ways that carbon pricing levels could be ramped up over time to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation in new technologies and transform countries’ energy use.
Carbon pricing is widely agreed among policymakers, business and government leaders to be an essential part of any policy framework that will drive systemic change on the global economy to achieve large-scale decarbonization. And while CDP revealed earlier this week that the number of countries disclosing carbon prices has nearly tripled in the past year, in many economies this has not yet resulted in effective carbon-pricing policies.
The toolkit aims to start a better conversation that focuses on price levels and time frames that would help keep global temperature rise within 2°C, the limit agreed upon by scientists and governments to avoid dangerous climate change.
According to the toolkit, the ideal pathway to a low-carbon economy presents a package of complementary climate policies that balance national and international efforts. Central to this pathway is a strong framework for carbon pricing that contains graduated price levels over time, allowing economies to prosper, adapt and innovate as emissions fall.
Other pathways suggest what could happen if there was a failure to achieve such a balance, leading to 3 or 4 degrees Celsius of warming, with varying levels of economic damage and social disruption.
These pathways map out a journey through price levels for different economies to take, from introductory to operational to transformational. The toolkit offers illustrative price ranges to generate discussions about key questions such as: What level of carbon pricing would drive the switch from coal- to gas-generated electricity?
Earlier during Climate Week, The B Team, comprised of leaders of some of the world’s largest companies, called on governments and businesses alike to aim for net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 or before, building upon their February 2015 call to world leaders.
In addition, this week the leaders of state and regional governments, spanning North and South America, Europe and Australia, announced collective climate targets that would save 7.9 gigatons of equivalent carbon dioxide (GtCO2e) by 2030 — greater than the U.S.’s carbon emissions in 2012.