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In a remarkable show of unity on the first day of the climate talks in Paris, heads of state from France, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Ethiopia and Canada joined World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to urge other nations and companies to put a price on carbon pollution.

 Max Thabiso Edkins/World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Heads of state from France, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Ethiopia and Canada joined World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to urge other nations and companies to put a price on carbon pollution.
  • The call by heads of state and government was echoed by ministers and CEOs from around the world at the official launch of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC).
  • Ahead of COP21 more than 90 developed and developing countries, have indicated plans to use international, regional, or domestic carbon pricing schemes for mitigation action.

In an extraordinary move on the first day of the climate conference in Paris, the leaders of six countries stood on stage with the head of the World Bank Group urged other nations and companies to put a price on carbon pollution.

The leaders from France, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Ethiopia and Canada joined Bank President Kim as well as the Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria in calling for carbon pricing as a means of driving investment for a cleaner future.

French President, François Hollande joined Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Michelle Bachelet President of Chile.

Speaking before more than 500 people in the main media conference room at the climate talks in Paris, President Kim said the talks were taking place in the shadow of an undeniable truth:

” We simply cannot afford to continue polluting the planet at the current pace, this was the right time to set the right price on the true cost of carbon on our planet “
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Jim Yong Kim

World Bank Group president

President Hollande said putting a price on carbon pollution would help encourage better behavior, and he pointed to the number of national plans developed by countries ahead of the Paris talks which referenced carbon pricing.

Chilean President Bachelet reminded people of the toll of carbon pollution. “Cheap and dirty energy is not cheap for our people’s health,” she said.

“Mexico regards carbon pricing is an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of cleaner fuels,“ said the President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Canadian Prime Minister said “it was no longer a choice” between what’s good for the economy and what’s good for the environment.  And he spoke about how British Columbia’s carbon pricing system was revenue neutral.

“We have a number of reasons to see climate change is addressed,” said the Ethiopian Prime Minister. “And there is already ample evidence carbon pricing can be cost effective,” he said.

The call by heads of state and government was echoed by ministers and CEOs from around the world at another event today in Paris to officially launch the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC). The Coalition brings together key governments such as Mexico, Germany, France, Chile and California, along with nearly 90 global businesses and NGOs.

Ahead of the Paris talks more than 90 developed and developing countries, including the European Union, have indicated plans to use international, regional, or domestic carbon pricing schemes for mitigation action.

About 40 nations and 23 cities, states and regions have implemented or are putting a price on carbon with programs and mechanisms covering about 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The coverage is expected to grow given China’s recent announcement to bring in a national emissions trading system in 2017.

A recent World Bank report, State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2015, shows the number of implemented or planned carbon pricing schemes around the world has almost doubled since 2012 and are now worth about $50 billion.

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