Government and Corporate Leaders Share Why They Support a Price on Carbon

September 22, 2014

Government leaders and CEOs who aligned with the Put a Price on Carbon Statement share why they support carbon pricing.

World Bank Group

More than 1,000 companies and over 70 countries are speaking out in support of a price on carbon. Several government leaders and CEOs who aligned with the Put a Price on Carbon Statement shared their reasons for supporting carbon pricing. Following are some of their comments.

Chancellor Angela Merkel
Climate change poses great dangers to us all. Carbon pricing makes investments in low-carbon or carbon-free technologies attractive and ensures that fossil fuels are used efficiently.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
The Vietnamese government is committed to increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as mass transit options in provinces and cities.  A price on carbon would catalyze green investment and give companies the certainty they need to green their industries and supply chains.

State of California, United States
Governor Jerry Brown
There has to be a price on carbon because there is a price on carbon: it’s the consequences to health and the economy and to our climate. We face an existential challenge with the changes in our climate. The time to act is now.

Province of British Columbia, Canada
Premier Christy Clark
In 2008, we put a price on carbon through a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Since then, our energy-related greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by more than 5 percent, and emissions are down across the board – all while our economy has continued to grow, and we’ve still maintained some of the lowest personal and corporate income taxes across Canada. Here in BC, we’re proving that you can grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time.

Province of Quebec, Canada
Premier Philippe Couillard
We implemented a cap-and-trade system in order to better integrate carbon pricing into our economy. By doing so, we are encouraging our businesses to become more energy efficient, adopt clean technologies and use renewable forms of energy. 

City of Tokyo, Japan
Governor Yoichi Masuzoe
Our own experiences in Tokyo have highlighted the benefits of carbon pricing through noticeable increased investment in the green economy – practical examples of which include the installation of LED lights and more efficient heating equipment supported by improved day-to-day operational efforts.

City of Vancouver, Canada
Mayor Gregor Robertson
Cities that take action on climate change now are building a more resilient, prosperous future for their citizens tomorrow. In Vancouver, our efforts to reduce carbon pollution have helped grow our economy while protecting the environment – a win-win.

Many of the impacts of our operations fall outside our direct control so we need to engage governments to create an environment that is supportive to meeting the big sustainability challenges the world faces.

GDF Suez
We, GDF SUEZ, support a price on carbon because we believe there is a need to address risks linked to climate change and we support action to address emissions reductions cost effectively. We are in favor of market based approaches and emissions trading which allow business the flexibility to reduce when and where it makes the most business sense.

Swiss Re
A carbon tax would allow countries and companies to make informed choices about the most efficient means of reducing their carbon footprints. 

We will never stress enough the importance of being transparent.

We think that lack of carbon pricing is a market failure that should be corrected: the cost due to greenhouse gas emissions should not be paid by the society as a whole, but be incorporated into the productive processes that create it.

Putting a price on carbon makes carbon emissions a factor of production. This is absolutely essential if we are to do our part to help transform the world’s energy systems, while at the same time ensuring supply security at affordable prices.

Alstom believes CO2 pricing is essential to incentivize investment in the huge volume of low-carbon investment needed to meet climate change and energy security goals and bring our economies on the path of long-term prosperity.

Holcim supports the development and implementation of climate regulations that are environmentally effective, economically efficient, fair to trade (i.e. able to ensure a level playing field between domestic and non-domestic producers and among sectors) and internationally consistent.

At Shell we’re convinced that energy from all sources will be needed.  But we also believe that a well-implemented price on carbon is the key to shifting to lower-carbon fuels today, inspiring low carbon innovations tomorrow, promoting more efficient energy technologies, and driving more climate-friendly business practices. 

Veolia sees the strengthening of carbon pricing policies as an effective and cost efficient mean to redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate challenge.

By addressing the financial and environmental impact of our own energy consumption, we have gained valuable insights to create solutions for our customers.

Addressing climate change will be a mix of costs and investments, savings through energy efficiency, and new business opportunities. It is therefore in our interest as a provider of energy efficient solutions to support the global community to focus on carbon emission reductions.

We believe putting a price on emissions is indeed the most efficient policy measure to trigger innovation and secure a level playing field between technologies and geographies.

Putting a price on carbon enables all of us – private sector companies like PG&E, government agencies, the general public, and other stakeholders – to factor the cost of greenhouse gas emissions into our everyday decisions. And because climate change represents a long-term challenge, the sooner we begin to incorporate these costs, the better.

International Airlines Group
We support international efforts to develop a global system for airlines that will use carbon markets to put a price on carbon emissions by 2020. An effective system will increase incentives for the aviation industry to accelerate the introduction of low-carbon technology and lock in the great potential to decarbonize air transport.

Catholic Super
A carbon price on emission is a necessary cost to stop the economic and environmental damage being distributed across generations.

China Steel Corp.
Businesses and consumers need incentives to reduce carbon emission effectively, and carbon pricing well provides an incentive to do so.

BHP Billiton
A price on carbon is an effective measure to drive greenhouse gas reductions and technological innovation. The best solution would be an international price that incentivises a market-based response.

Enel believes that the best way to pursue decarbonization is through a strong support of carbon markets which have already proven, also through the UN flexible mechanisms experience, to be effective in driving technology innovation and carbon emissions abatement at the lowest cost.