The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius makes an important contribution to understanding the challenges – and benefits – of the 1.5 degree goal. It is clear to the business community that the international community has a long way to go in pursuing this goal.
The report, published today, is a critical input for negotiators as they prepare for the COP24 meeting in Katowice in December. The talks will mark the culmination of the Talanoa Dialogue process, set up under the Paris Agreement to review progress towards its goals with an aim of encouraging national contributions of greater ambition.
The contributors to the report conclude that human activities are estimated to have caused around 1 degree of global warming above pre-industrial levels already, and that warming "is expected to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues at the present rate."
The IPCC makes explicit references to carbon pricing as "a necessary lubricant" to help balance out the impact of higher energy prices in a carbon-constrained world.
"In a frictionless world, a unique world carbon price could minimise the social costs of the low carbon transition by equating the marginal costs of abatement across all sources of emissions," the report states.
"As a business group, IETA stands ready to do our part in advancing a vision of greater ambition enabled by effective carbon markets," said Dirk Forrister, CEO of IETA. "The World Bank's State and Trends of Carbon Markets report (2017) found that cooperation can cut costs of achieving Paris goals by 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050."
The IPCC report also highlights the important role that non-state actors can perform in achieving the Paris goals. Incentives need to be made available to encourage the private sector to take voluntary actions and go beyond compliance with national goals.
"In IETA's participation in Talanoa Dialogues with the business community around the world (New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Montevideo, Nairobi) in the past few months, we heard a clear, consistent and convincing call for wider use of market mechanisms, which could help make more action economically viable," he continued. "But we also heard that the Rulebook matters – a lot."
"That's why the work on the Article 6 element of the Paris Rulebook is vital this year, so that more companies can invest with confidence in climate action."