Fortune 500 CEOs, investors, partner World Bank on carbon pricing

…Mulls pandemic emergency facility

More than 1000 companies and investors, including the Chief Executive Officers of Fortune 500 companies, last Saturday, joined the campaign on carbon pricing. The collaboration was coming about two weeks after the campaign was flagged off at the UN Climate Summit in New York, USA, which announced the results of months-long campaign to put a price on carbon.

But after last Saturday’s meeting with the World Bank Group and key stakeholders, Jim Yong Kim the president of World Bank disclosed that more than 1,000 companies and investors, and 74 governments have so far joined the pledge to put a price on carbon.

According to him, the Washington meeting brought key members of the group including leading global investors, Fortune 500 CEOs and government officials from across the world together to talk about next steps to realise the dream.

Kim said, “we heard that countries and investors already are planning for a world in which we will feel the true cost of using fossil fuels. Countries are now thinking about the policy implications of carbon pricing. Investors said they have new credibility when they argued internally that new investments must account for the costs of their carbon footprints.”

He disclosed, however, that some investors are already “decarbonising” their portfolios and moving toward green investments because they may become more competitive.

With respect to global action on Ebola at the annual meetings, he said the understanding was that key institutions and countries had committed themselves to communicate the urgency of the situation. He stated that the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, had told countries not to wait for consultation but to take action immediately, stressing that even the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, had urged affected countries not to worry about fiscal deficits in the midst of the crisis as measures are being taken to accommodate such lapses.

Kim said the overall message was for all stakeholders to pick up the pace and do whatever it takes to stop the Ebola outbreak.

“When your house is on fire, you don’t put a wet towel underneath the door. You send in firefighters. It’s the same with the fight against Ebola. We need to send in large numbers of trained health workers who can extinguish the outbreak. The way to fight Ebola isn’t to close off borders. Instead, we need to offer the best treatment possible for those infected inside the most affected countries. We should isolate Ebola, not Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. We also should once again remind everyone that Africa remains open for business, and that our projections for economic growth for 2015 and 2016 are 5.2 per cent annually, up from 4.6 per cent this year,” he pointed out.

The World Bank boss noted that while efforts are being made to combat Ebola, it has become imperative to provide contingency arrangements to counter the next contagion, hence it’s extensive consultations over the past few weeks with leaders of the G20, the UN and the IMF, about the pandemic emergency facility, such that when the next global health emergency hits, a set of pre-packaged agreements would ensure that funds were immediately available and flowed freely to support response efforts.

Source : SunOnline

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