COP 21 is a unique and possibly last ditch chance to cap global warming to 2 degrees C, but in order to do so nations must come together to formulate and implement a corporate carbon tax, warned Veolia’s chairman and chief executive officer, Antoine Frérot, at a recent event in London.
Speaking at the company’s own “A corporate carbon tax – the last chance to stop climate change?” event, Frérot reminded the audience that the fight against climate change called for the implementation of a number of essential measures to ensure its success. Besides the development of a circular economy, which emits much less CO2, and the capture and sequestration of methane Frérot, pledged Veolia’s support for wide-scale deployment of a carbon tax.
According to the CEO the tax should be set at €30 to €40 per tonne of CO2 and needs to be clear and easy-to-understand, whilst ambitious in its approach.
Veolia called for the tax to be implemented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in December, where business, government and public bodies will come together to accelerate international sustainable development.
“COP 21 is a unique, potentially last chance, opportunity to cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius,” urged Frérot. “This can be best achieved through a carbon tax to be implemented on a large scale.
“Polluting is currently free, whilst decontaminating is expensive,” he continued. “Clearly this is unfair and must change. A carbon tax would incentivise businesses to look towards more sustainable technologies and renewable energies. In addition, the money raised by the tax can be invested in sustainable technology and paid to those who invest to ensure their operations are ‘carbon-free’. There needs to be a system where the ‘polluter-pays’ and the ‘environmentally conscious’ are supported.”
Frérot went on to explain how the first step is to give carbon a robust and predictable cost. He also noted that Veolia is establishing its own internal carbon tax, which aims to price carbon at €31 per tonne by 2030.
“The EU can, and must, lead on the issue by introducing its own carbon tax,” he said. “Whilst a tax would make EU goods more expensive, negative effects could be offset by a carbon customs duty on goods entering the EU
“Without action, life will become unsustainable in some regions, extreme weather will become the norm and we risk huge geopolitical and economic consequences,” concluded Frérot.
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