American Nations to Start Carbon-Price Talks, World Bank Says

Source: By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, June 3, 2016

Four American nations are set to start talks on ways to co-operate on carbon pricing, according to the World Bank.

Government officials from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru will meet late June through July 1 in Santiago to discuss emission-reduction tools including markets and taxes, according to Thomas Kerr, the head of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, a World Bank program to promote climate protection among business, government and the public.

Measures to put a price on emissions, either through taxes or trading systems, are increasing as the United Nations Paris climate deal struck in December requires countries to boost efforts to cut pollution causing global warming. China’s plan to introduce a national greenhouse-gas market next year may double the value of the world’s carbon-pricing programs, the Washington-based bank said last week in a report.

The Pacific Alliance, a trade group that includes Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru, holds a summit meeting on July 1, according to its website. Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, or Semarnat, confirmed that Mexico was invited to attend a carbon pricing event, though it’s still deciding whether to participate. Energy and environment ministry officials for Colombia, Chile and Peru weren’t available to comment.

Jump Ahead

“Countries are starting to realize that if they jump ahead with investment-friendly plans, it’s going to attract climate-finance flows,” said Vikram Widge, the head of climate and carbon finance at the World Bank. The Paris deal amounts to “an agreement for economic transformation,” he said in an interview.

As developed nations promise $100 billion of climate finance a year to poorer nations from 2020, emerging nations are beginning to realize they need to spend it cost effectively in order to win it, said Martijn Wilder, head of the climate-change practice at law firm Baker & McKenzie in Sydney.

In some nations where renewable energy is becoming less expensive than fossil fuels, a carbon price may not even become necessary, he said. Other nations will use pricing to hasten their transition and win finance, Wilder said in a May 25 interview.