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Firms should pay more for pollution, UN special envoy for climate Mark Carney

Mark Carney attends a session during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 21, 2020.

Fabrice Cofrini | AFP | Getty Images

Companies should be paying more for the pollution they generate, says Mark Carney, the United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance.

Carbon pricing is one of the methods used to incentivize businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — by making them pay for pollution the create. Some governments impose taxes on carbon emissions, while others set up systems where emissions are capped and extra allowances can be bought or sold in the form of “carbon credits.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, the global average carbon price in 2019 was $2 per ton — and Carney said the charges need to be much higher.

“They’ve been set far too low — single digits on average globally, well short of the estimated $80 to $100 a ton needed by the end of this decade to keep us on track to net zero,” he said during a virtual event organized by the INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society on Tuesday.

That figure is higher than projections by the IMF, which said carbon taxes should be $75 a ton by 2030.

Transition challenges

Dangerous trade-offs

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2021-05-30 18:31:22

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