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Video: World Bank chief calls for global carbon pricing

FRANCE 24 | World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

As COP 21 – the landmark climate change conference in Paris – looms, the World Bank’s President Jim Yong Kim told FRANCE 24 why his organisation believes carbon pricing schemes are the key to drastically reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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“We know there is a cost to putting carbon into the air that can be translated directly into human lives, for example – carbon-based pollution takes the lives of millions of people every year,” said Kim

“But we haven’t been incorporating that cost into the way we do business. Through taxes, through fees, through trading schemes, we simply want the actual cost of putting carbon in the air to be reflected in everything we do.”

This will drive greater innovation and investment in green energy technology, he believes, that would allow the world to “reduce the carbon footprint dramatically”.

So far, just a handful of countries – including Mexico, Chile and the European Union states – have a national carbon pricing scheme in place.

But Kim believes that there is a growing international support for such schemes, with the world’s biggest polluter China among nations set to introduce country-wide carbon pricing in the near future.

Kim said that around 80 of the approximately 150 nations that have pledged to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the Paris talks have included some sort of carbon pricing initiatives in their commitments.

Nevertheless, the World Bank is not pushing for carbon pricing to form part of the COP 21 negotiations, believing opposition by some countries would make an agreement too hard to reach.

“The key is we have got to get to an agreement in Paris,” said Kim. “Right now, the negotiations are very complicated, any time you try to get 190 plus countries to agree on a way forward it’s complicated.”

Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's full interview.
 

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