SAN FRANCISCO, 11 September – California Governor Jerry Brown kicked off a high-level event focused on carbon pricing today, telling the audience: “Carbon pricing is simple and elegant. Just do it!”
The one-day event, organised by the European Commission, State of California, Government of Canada, IETA, the World Bank and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, highlighted how carbon pricing can deliver climate ambition. It comes as world leaders gather in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, intended to drive ambition and accelerate action to delivering on the Paris Agreement’s goals.
“Climate change does not wait for anyone,” Brown told delegates. He noted that his state’s cap-and-trade system has generated around $8 billion in revenues for the state, and that the market is “turning profit into a climate-friendly process”.
Brown’s remarks came on the heels of him signing legislation for the state to use only carbon-free electricity from 2045, followed by an executive order for the entire state to be carbon neutral by 2045.
“The Paris Agreement sets a goal for the world to be carbon neutral from 2050, so California’s goal to achieve this five years early is ambitious – and exactly what this week is intended to inspire,” says Dirk Forrister, IETA’s President and CEO. “California’s cap-and-trade system will have a vital role to play in realising these targets and driving the kind and scale of investments needed to transform the world’s fifth-largest economy into one which is low-carbon and fit for the future.
“Well-designed carbon markets are key to any ambitious climate change response,” Forrister adds. “The world hosts a myriad of emissions trading systems, which are already reducing pollution and driving innovations – it is essential that governments move quickly to finalise the rules for the Paris Agreement so that these efforts are counted towards our shared goals, and to unleash the full potential of carbon markets.”
“Business wants predictability and clarity on policy, so that crucial investment decisions can be made without fear of a costly change of direction,” says Katie Sullivan, Managing Director at IETA. “Well-designed markets enable the low-carbon transition to be made at a steady pace, without shocks to business and consumers.”
“Today’s event highlighted how jurisdictions are embracing – or could embrace – smart carbon pricing while driving new clean business and investment opportunities and remaining competitive,” she adds. “The future is now.”