LASER TALK: Worldwide Carbon Pricing and the FASTER Principals

We are often asked what China is doing to reduce emissions and it is assumed that the answer is nothing. However, information gathered from three World Bank reports [1, 2, 3] indicate that governments around the world are taking action, China included:

In 2014, about 40 national and over 20 sub-national jurisdictions have already implemented or scheduled emissions trading schemes or carbon taxes. Together, these jurisdictions account for more than 22 percent of global emissions. Many more countries and jurisdictions are advancing preparation for pricing carbon. Together, these represent almost half of global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions [4]. See the map below to find out where [5].

Here’s the breakdown of what these countries are doing:
• 14 countries and one sub-national jurisdiction (BC, Canada) are implementing or have passed legislation for a direct carbon tax.
• 18 countries are taking steps to be in a state of “carbon pricing readiness” by 2016-2020.
• 35 countries (incl. 28 in the EU) and 20 subnational jurisdictions have adopted emissions trading (ETS) programs.

Looking at it slightly differently, only two out of the ten of the largest economies in the world do NOT have a carbon price: including our biggest trading partner the United States as well as  Russia [6]. *Note this includes California, which has an Emissions Trading Scheme, accurately as the world’s 10th largest economy instead of India [7].

Of special note in July 2014  India doubled its tax on coal to fund green energy projects [8]. As well, at the federal level Canada does not have a climate or energy plan [9]

world and carbon pricing2015

This laser talk and the data tables it draws from can be downloaded here

Skeptic Claim: Canada should not act until other countries put a carbon price into place

One-line response: Countries responsible for nearly 50% of global carbon emissions already have a carbon price mechanism planned or in place.

[1] “Putting a Price on Carbon with a Tax”. The World Bank. June 3, 2014.

[2] World Bank Background Note “Carbon Pricing Readiness: Looking Ahead”. The World Bank. June 3, 2014

[3] “Putting a Price on Carbon with an ETS”. The World Bank. June 3, 2014.

[4] “Statement: Putting a Price on Carbon”. The World Bank. June 3, 2014.

[5] “State & Trends Report Charts Global Growth of Carbon Pricing”. The World Bank. May 28, 2014.

[6] “GDP (current US$)”. World Development Indicators. World Bank. Retrieved 1 July 2014. URL:

[7] “Widespread But Slower Growth in 2013″. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Labor. June 11, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014. URL for pdf download:

[8] “India Doubles Tax on Coal to Fund Clean Energy, Environmental Projects” July 20, 2014 retrieved July 31, 2014

[9] Experts call for Moratorium on Oilsands Development Until Climate, Environmental Impacts Assessed. Nature Commentary. Wendy Palen et al,  June 25, 2014, retrieved July 31, 2014


Go back to Laser Talks Page.