An underpinning theme of my blog postings over the years has been discussion around government policy frameworks that seek to attach a cost to CO2 emissions – or so called carbon pricing. I have argued for them, commented on their inner workings and highlighted successes and failures along the way. At the start of each year I have published an overview of global progress, which of course has always featured the EU ETS, but now incorporates systems and approaches from countries such Kazakhstan and South Africa.
The importance of placing a cost on anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide cannot be understated, yet it took a fairly heroic effort from the World Bank this time last year to even get the subject of carbon pricing onto the agenda of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Despite the efforts in many countries, this important policy instrument still doesn’t get the recognition or attention it deserves. Yet, as I have argued on many occasions, including my e-book published to coincide with the Summit last year, the climate issue probably doesn’t get resolved without it.
So on the anniversary of that Summit, with Climate Week in New York coming around again, I have a second book being launched, devoted entirely to the all-important subject of carbon pricing as a national and global policy instrument.
“Why Carbon Pricing Matters” looks at how various national pricing mechanisms work, why some of them may not work at all, what is wrong with others and of course seeks to answer the very question it poses in its title; why this policy instrument matters so much. With COP21 in Paris approaching, I have also argued the case for recognition of this instrument at the global level as well; this isn’t just about national policy implementation.
Not surprisingly the EU ETS gets a chapter to itself; there is a great deal of history here and many lessons learned, but some still to be recognized. As an Australian I have also ventured into the murky waters of carbon pricing policy in that country, which changes constantly and always throws up surprises. With a new Prime Minister, another round of debate may well be on the cards; we shall see.
Finally, I have again challenged the business community to think long and hard about this policy instrument – there are so many reasons why it is the best course to follow. Policy to manage carbon dioxide emissions is inevitable, so the choices we make now may impact the economy and environment for generations to come.
The book is available exclusively on Amazon, either for Kindle or iPads, iPhones and other devices with the Kindle App. This year, the book is also available in hard copy, given the number of requests I had for such treatment over the last twelve months. For those that haven’t caught up with my first attempt, it is now also available in hardcopy.
Here are ten straightforward peer-reviewed reasons why carbon pricing isn’t the best course to follow. Indeed, why it can’t deliver the emissions reductions we need:
You clearly disagree, but is it because you see flaws in the arguments put forward? If so, what are they?
Carbon markets have been far from perfect in their implementation to date. I discuss many of the issues in the book and some of these overlap with the reasons given in your list of ten.
Thanks for the post. Would definitely suggest your book for our office library.
Few governments are looking at pricing CO2 differently. I mean, through initiatives like Energy Efficiency, Renewable, etc. For example, India has been strongly advocating Energy Conservation in a lot of ways like incentives, market-based mechanisms, etc.
But, as you rightly said, pricing CO2 creates more uniform approach towards enhancing sustainability in the right way.
I do have a question. Pricing Carbon at a country level depends on politicians, etc. But responsible companies can come up their own carbon pricing like Shell. I have recently read a presentation of Mr Angus, where he published a value of 40$ per ton CO2 for Shell. My question is, what is the approach companies need to take to estimate such numbers?
Hope to hear from you soon,
Thanks for the comment. I don’t really agree that an energy efficiency mechanism can translate as a clear carbon price.
With regards your question, the internal valuation of carbon is very different to an external price and is used quite differently to an external mechanism. I have written about this in the book.