According to the World Bank, initiatives towards greenhouse-gas emissions pricing, to restrain global warming are being hurt as countries such as Australia to Russia and Japan pull back from carbon-reduction commitments.
“While some nations are taking concrete steps forward on carbon pricing, recent developments in others are a setback,” said the World Bank in its State & Trends of Carbon Pricing 2014 report published on May 28th last month. Policy changes amount to “two steps forward, one step back,” it said.
The bank elaborated that, greenhouse-gas emissions covered by pricing mechanisms such as taxes and trading programs may fall from 18% to 12%, if countries don’t approve an annex of the 1997 Kyoto climate accord, including Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Russia, Japan and New Zealand abandoned the second commitment period of the emission-reduction pact, which covered eight years through 2020.
In its report, the World Bank even mentioned that carbon emissions pricing is much needed in order to boost clean energy projects in private-sector investment. According to the lender, a total of 40 countries and more than 20 sub-national jurisdictions have put a value of carbon emissions.
According to the report, emissions trading programs worldwide were worth about$30bn, by the end of 2013, although it excluded United Nations emissions credits under the Kyoto Protocol. The value of the global carbon markets fell under 36% in 2013, to about $56bn. The valuation is done on the basis of transaction volumes, which also includes UN credits under the Kyoto protocol. Expenses between the pricing programs ‘occupy a significant range’. An emissions tax in the Mexico is much less than $1 per metric tonne of CO2 equivalent, while the same in Sweden is $168 per metric tonne.
Australia’s new government is currently seeking to take down the legislation to pieces that excise fees on carbon emissions and restore it with taxpayer funded grants to companies and projects that lessen emissions. Last month, Russia said that the UN-endorsed goal of beating rising global temperatures shouldn’t dictate countries’ emission boundary in a new climate treaty for 2020.