Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, called on her G20 colleagues meeting in Venice on Friday to take immediate steps to decarbonize the global economy and combat climate change.
She told a conference before the formal launch of the discussions between finance ministers and central banks that the Group of 20 richest countries “are responsible for 80% of global carbon emissions, so it is our job to take action – and do it immediately.”
She also emphasized the significance of enhanced international cooperation in order to avoid “friction” between countries attempting to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In a speech in Venice, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire recommended a global carbon pricing minimum.
“Instead of having a global unique carbon price, which we cannot reach for the time being, we propose to have a global floor for carbon price,” he said.
“I think a global floor could be a very good starting point to have all the G20 member states committed on a carbon price.”
Last month, the International Monetary Fund released a study urging all of the world’s major polluters to adopt such a floor.
Carbon pricing, it said, was now universally acknowledged as the most significant policy tool for achieving the substantial emissions reductions needed to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius by 2050.
However, four-fifths of emissions are now unpriced, and the worldwide average carbon price is only $3 per tonne – far below the level required to encourage energy conservation and divert research toward green solutions.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN