World Bank Updates Carbon Tax Info — Higher Taxes Needed

by Duane Nichols on September 22, 2015

Carbon pricing schemes double since 2012 in climate fight: World Bank

From an Article by Alister Doyle, Reuters (Oslo), September 9, 2015

The number of carbon pricing schemes worldwide has almost doubled since 2012 but most taxes or markets have prices too low to prevent damaging global warming, the World Bank said on Sunday.

Carbon pricing, including emissions trading schemes from California to China, now covers about 12 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in a sign of momentum before a U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December, it said.

The number of carbon pricing instruments, both implemented or planned, has risen to 38 from 20 since 2012, it said. South Korea began carbon trading this year, for instance, and both Chile and South Africa plan taxes on carbon emissions.

“There is a growing sense of inevitability … that there will be a price on carbon” for governments and businesses, Rachel Kyte, a vice president and special envoy for climate change at the World Bank, told a telephone new conference.

The study showed that prices, meant to shift investments from fossil fuels toward cleaner energies such as wind or solar power, ranged from less than a dollar a tonne of carbon dioxide in Mexico to $130 a tonne in Sweden.

In more than 85 percent of cases the price was less than $10, “considerably lower”, the report said, than levels needed to help limit temperature rises to a U.N. goal of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

The World Bank did not suggest a target price.

The combined value of the carbon pricing instruments was estimated at $50 billion a year worldwide, with $34 billion from markets and the other $16 billion in taxes.

A year ago, 73 countries and more than 1,000 companies and investors called for a price on carbon. Kyte said the group was becoming a “powerful coalition” that would make announcements before Paris. She gave no details.

A parallel report by the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), with input from the International Monetary Fund, also laid out new principles for carbon pricing that it called FASTER.

“Carbon pricing is central to the quest for a cost-effective transition toward zero net emissions in the second half of the century,” said Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD.

FASTER stands for Fairness, Alignment of policies and objectives, Stability and predictability, Transparency, Efficiency and cost effectiveness and Reliability and environmental integrity.

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Mayors Step Up September 22, 2015 at 10:39 pm

U.S. Mayors Step Up As Key Advocates for Climate Change Action during UN Conference in Paris

From the Globe Newswire, Washington, DC, August 24, 2015

A coalition of U.S. mayors and city officials announced today that they will join the UN Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris in December to showcase their cities’ climate leadership and call for an ambitious international agreement that addresses our climate crisis and supports further action at the local level.

This group of mayors, called the Local Climate Leaders Circle, includes mayors of Atlanta, Boulder, Chula Vista, Columbus, Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, West Palm Beach, and councilmembers from Santa Monica and King County, Wash.

The Leaders Circle is coordinated in partnership by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, National League of Cities, and U.S. Green Building Council in association with the Compact of Mayors and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The Leaders Circle works alongside city officials from across the United States to advance their local climate goals. The partners are working closely with these cities on a range of efforts including updating measurements of their greenhouse gas emissions, preparing local projects to better access needed financing, engaging citizens on climate action, and meeting with high-level representatives from the U.S. government and international community to advance a climate accord that benefits city action, recognizing that the most ambitious local goals can only be achieved alongside an enabling national and international framework.

“Supporting a global climate agreement is critically important for cities around the world,” said National League of Cities President Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City. “I’m honored and encouraged that so many of my fellow city leaders have joined in this mission for their residents and the thousands of communities throughout the nation.”

The members of the Local Climate Leaders Circle have committed to the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track their progress transparently.

“These twelve cities deserve great credit for acting quickly to confront climate change,” said Michael Bloomberg, United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and former mayor of New York City. “By drawing attention to the work cities around the world are doing – and helping them speed their progress – the Leaders Circle can help set the stage for a successful climate change summit in Paris later this year.”


WV Center on Budget & Policy September 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Natural Gas Liquids Tax Incentive Could Bring More Development and Jobs to West Virginia
Marcellus Shale development has led to a boom in West Virginia’s natural gas production. But aside from the increase in drilling activity and state and local tax revenue, the natural gas boom has not brought with it the jobs and economic growth that many predicted. While the state’s natural gas production has increased dramatically over the past several years, West Virginia has lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of job growth and fewer West Virginians are employed today than before the boom. Even in the counties where production has increased the most, job growth has been lackluster. 
 Key Findings from the PDF Report

>>> While natural gas production is booming in West Virginia, the boom has not led to greater economic development. Overall, West Virginia lost jobs during the boom, and growth has been disappointing in the counties that have seen the biggest increase in gas production.

>>> With little success, West Virginia has offered large tax incentives to encourage chemical-based manufacturing plants to locate in the state and use its natural gas liquids. Instead, companies pipe the liquids out of West Virginia to be used elsewhere, taking jobs and economic growth with them.

>>> A new severance tax incentive, based on a higher rate for natural gas liquids, with a credit to related in-state industries, may encourage ethane cracking and other chemical manufacturing to create in-state jobs while generating additional tax revenue for investment in infrastructure and human capital.

>>> If West Virginia increased its severance tax on natural gas liquids from five to ten percent, it would increase revenue by an estimated $168 million over the next five years.


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