Carbon Taxes Coming; Corpos Get Ready for Low-Carbon Diet

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By Stephen Leahy

Jan 21 (IPS) – With a tax on carbon emissions appearing to be inevitable, some of the world’s largest corporations will be asking their suppliers to report on their carbon emissions as part of future reduction efforts.

“Investors are demanding that companies know what their carbon emissions are and consumers want companies to be green,” said Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent not-for-profit organisation in Britain that is coordinating the effort.

“A global price for carbon is coming and we are helping companies to prepare to operate in a carbon-constrained world,” Dickinson told IPS.

Emissions from burning fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil are causing climate change, which is resulting in billions of dollars of damages and losses due to more intense storms, rising temperatures, increased flooding and so on. Many economists and policy experts recognise that unless emitters are forced to pay a high price for their carbon emissions, most will not change the way they operate.

plan-b-30-cover.pngIn his new book “Plan B 3.0: Mobilising to Save Civilisation“, Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington, recommended a carbon tax scale-up of 20 dollars per tonne each year between 2008 and 2020, stabilising at 240 dollars per tonne. The tax would be offset at every step with a reduction in income taxes to discourage fossil fuel use and encourage investment in renewable sources of energy.

But few companies know what their carbon emissions are because there has not been any compelling reason to measure them, Dickinson noted. “We’re trying to change that because if companies don’t measure their emissions, they can’t manage them,” he said.

Each of the 11 corporations participating in the CDP’s Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration (SCLC) will ask up to 50 suppliers to complete a standarised information request being tested in the first quarter of 2008. CDP’s goal is to enlarge the SCLC and eventually involve tens of thousands of supply chain companies, and to help large firms and suppliers develop strategies to reduce their carbon footprints.

CDP is creating a single standardised approach to providing key climate change information throughout their supply chains. “This is phase one of a larger effort later to measure emissions from all suppliers,” Dickinson said.

For complete story please see Big Business Ponders a Low-Carbon Diet

See also:

Global Economy Going Green? 

Solutions for Climate Change

“Climate change is like the Internet — it is never going away”

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