Photos by Sujay Natson
Here are some of the main highlights of the statements made by the leaders.
Kim remarked on the critical importance of statements of support from world leaders, as well as the work of Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. He emphasized the need to ensure that momentum for carbon pricing translates into impact on the ground.
Hollande discussed the successes of France’s carbon tax, and said he could “envision that by 2020, there could be a carbon price for all the G20 countries”.
Mexico wishes to draw concrete measures in favor of sustainable development, said Nieto, and the country can use resources raised by a carbon tax to “fight global warming and climate change”.
Merkel stressed the need for international cooperation in instituting carbon pricing schemes, noting that Europe is more or less alone in its carbon pricing initiatives: the US has only produced pricing schemes “here and there”, she said; “China has not yet produced a plan”.
Bachelet reminded the audience that natural disasters are a constant reminder of the threats of climate change, and the world’s poor and vulnerable will remain threatened without substantive action such as the establishment of carbon pricing schemes. The Chilean president warned that “cheap and dirty energy is not cheap for the planet or the health of our people”.
Though Canada has been slow to address climate issues on a federal level, Trudeau highlighted individual province’s successes, particularly British Columbia’s carbon tax. He painted a picture of a bright future for Canadian carbon pricing, recognizing opportunities to invest in a more sustainable future and remarking that Canada “is back” on the world stage in terms of commitment to carbon mitigation.
As we speak, Teshome noted, El Niño-induced droughts are affecting millions of Ethiopians, but carbon pricing is one instrument that can help the world to move forward: “The technologies that will be stimulated by carbon pricing will also enhance the food, water, and land security of our people”.
Gurría concluded the event by addressing the impending threats of climate change, and reiterating how carbon pricing can work to combat those risks while providing opportunities for investment and growth. “We’re still on a collision course with nature, and the carbon clock is ticking”, he said. But we can “work together, and fast, to deliver better climate policies--including a big fat price on carbon--for better lives”.