We recognize the rising environmental, social, economic, and security risks posed by climate change, and that delaying action will result in greater risks and costs. An effective response to climate change requires strong government leadership, and presents both enormous challenges and significant economic opportunities for the private sector. As businesses concerned about the well-being of our investors, our customers, our communities and our planet, we are committed to working on our own and in partnership with governments to mobilize the technology, investment and innovation needed to transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy.
A new climate agreement in Paris can help strengthen the role of, and minimize risks to, the private sector in a number of ways:
- Facilitating Carbon Pricing – Requiring countries choosing to employ international carbon trading to ensure the environmental integrity of these transactions can help facilitate the growth and credibility of the global carbon market, a critical tool for cost-effective emissions reduction.
We stand ready to work with governments and our civil society partners to deliver and implement a
sensible and effective global climate agreement in Paris.
It is signed by the companies:
- BHP BILLITON
- NATIONAL GRID
- RIO TINTO
- SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC
- SIEMENS CORPORATION
Wonder where Exxon-Mobil (XOM) is? Could it be that they are worried about admitting legal culpability?
Now that six of the world’s largest oil companies have essentially come out in favor of a carbon tax, it’s getting harder to dismiss the idea as some kind of outlandish lefty plot. And those companies can help their cause by engaging Congress directly, instead of outlining their case in a polite letter to the United Nations.
None of the companies — BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, Statoil ASA, Eni SpA and BG Group — is based in the U.S. Still, their argument should resonate in Washington: “Clear, stable, long-term” policies that make carbon more expensive (the letter never uses the word “tax”) are necessary to reduce uncertainty, stimulate investment and encourage the most efficient reductions in emissions. Only governments can make those changes, they say. And those national systems must eventually be connected to create a global system.
That’s the right approach, and it’s not surprising that oil producers are advocating it. The current strategy for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases isn’t nearly enough to prevent potentially devastating changes to the Earth’s climate. As the need intensifies for a more ambitious response, so does the challenge these companies face in planning for them. And the longer those remedies are delayed, the more aggressive they’ll need to be.
The only thing I say and add is that they are doing this because they see the assault coming on their right flank from the explosive growth in zero carbon solar and its economic buddy, energy storage, bolstered by wind power. I think they are better they can control the transition using governments, which they already influence, than allowing the free market to do what free markets do: Destroy and disrupt economic dinosaurs. I personally welcome the day when companies like National Grid endure the same fate as Kodak.