Sunday, June 26, 2016

Put A Price On Carbon

Put A Price On Carbon
We Mean Business Coalition, 2015, no author given

This is an “action”, in the parlance of the We Mean Business Coalition, that companies can sign onto to declare their support for carbon pricing.  It was circulated prior to the Paris climate talks in December 2015, and currently has 76 companies that have “committed to action”.  “Committing to action” means agreeing to some specific goals set by the UN, including (1) setting an internal carbon price that is “high enough to materially affect investment decisions” (but how high that is, is not specified), (2) publicly advocating for carbon pricing, and (3) discussing their progress on those goals in their corporate annual reports.

My take: It is interesting to compare their list to the companies mentioned in the previous article on the CDP’s study; in particular, both Exxon and Microsoft are missing from WMBC’s list.  Greenwashing is again a large risk here, and the vagueness of “high enough to materially affect investment decisions” is really unfortunate.  Nevertheless, these are substantial commitments, and I take the fact that Exxon has not signed on to this to be an indication that this survey may be less susceptible to deception and greenwashing than the CDP’s study.  There are some big names on this list, from NestlĂ© to Unilever, and my initial take, without doing further research, is that they probably deserve some real credit for this commitment.  We’ll see how they follow through on it.

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