Alliance of 78 major firms urges carbon pricing to slow global warming

The  HSBC building in Canary Wharf in London.
The HSBC building in Canary Wharf in London. PHOTO: REUTERS

OSLO (REUTERS) - Leaders of 78 major companies urged governments on Monday to include the pricing of carbon emissions as part of policies to curb global warming, as world leaders prepare for a summit on climate change in Paris next week.

Chief executives of the companies, with combined annual turnover of US$2.1 trillion (S$2.98 trillion), said in an open letter to world leaders that an ambitious deal in Paris would help create both economic growth and jobs.

It said the CEOs, organised by the World Economic Forum, were from companies including HSBC, Siemens, SOHO China, PepsiCo, Engie, Mahindra Group, Tata, Nestlé, BT Group, Unilever and PwC.

"We believe that effective climate policies have to include explicit or implicit prices on carbon achieved via market mechanisms or coherent legislative measures according to national preferences," they wrote.

Such pricing would "trigger low-carbon investment and transform current emission patterns at a significant scale,"they added, noting they were taking voluntary actions to reduce their environmental and carbon footprints.

Almost 200 nations will meet in Paris from Nov 30 to Dec 11 to try to map out a transformation of the world economy towards a low-carbon future, breaking with an increasing reliance on fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution.