LASER TALK: Does the private sector support a carbon price?


Yes, an increasing number of companies and investors around the world are promoting the idea of a carbon price. Corporate leaders explain that a carbon price enables companies to factor the costs of GHG emissions into their decisions1. A transparent carbon price creates an incentive for companies to reduce GHG emissions, invest in low-carbon options and plan long term. 2,3 Both traditional companies (e.g. energy) and new industries (e.g. the internet) are among the supporters of a carbon price.

Here are just a few of the many examples of corporate leadership in promoting a carbon price:

  • The 2012 Carbon Price Communique that proclaims that “putting a clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon emissions must be a core policy objective” 4 has been signed by 164 companies including global industry leaders such as BP, Shell, Statoil, and Unilever. 5
  • In the US, industry leaders such as Exxon Mobil, Walmart, Microsoft, ConocoPhillipsChevron and Google are already factoring a carbon price into their financial planning.6
  • The 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, signed by over 360 investors with more than $24 trillion in assets7, calls upon governments to “provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge”.8
  • In Canada, the Clean50, a group of corporate leaders, addressed the country’s leadership and all Canadians with a 2014 open letter calling for a “framework that includes setting a price on carbon at some specific date in the future, that would reduce other taxes, and provide an incentive for businesses and individuals to take steps to reduce their use of carbon”.9
  • In October 2015, three new climate change indices were introduced on Dow Jones S&P Indices and the Toronto Stock Exchange 10
  • On November 24, 2015 and alliance of 78 major firms including HSBC, Siemens, SOHO China, PepsiCo, Engie, Mahindra Group, Tata, Nestlé, BT Group, Unilever and PwC,  urged governments to include the pricing of carbon emissions as part of policies to curb global warming 11.

  1. Anthony Earley. “Energy CEO: California Shows How Carbon Pricing Can Reduce Emissions Efficiently & Cost Effectively”. September 17, 2014. The World Bank. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  2. “Why putting a price on carbon is becoming a business and economic reality”. September 26, 2014. PwC. Last accessed: 5-03-15. URL:
  3. “Sustainability Review 2013”. 2013. BP p.l.c. Last accessed: 5-03-15. URL:
  4. Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. “The Carbon Price Communique“. 2012. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  5. Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. “Carbon Price Communiqué?” 2015. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  6. Coral Davenport. “Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon”. December 5, 2013. The New York Times. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  7. International Investors Group on Climate Change. “2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change Summary”. 2014. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  8. International Investors Group on Climate Change. “Global Investor Statement on Climate Change”. September 2014. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  9. Clean 50. “Advocacy Statement”. November 29, 2014. Last accessed: 3-05-15. URL:
  10. Three New Climate Change Index Series Launched by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Toronto Stock Exchange
  11. Alliance of 78 major firms urges carbon pricing to slow global warming


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