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World Bank calls for carbon pricing to rescue climate

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Staff writer ▼ | January 29, 2014
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for a price on carbon, requiring companies to disclose their climate risk exposure, and greater investment in green bonds in the fight against climate change.
Jim Yong KimWorld Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for a price on carbon, requiring companies to disclose their climate risk exposure, and greater investment in green bonds in the fight against climate change.


"In corporate boardrooms and the offices of CEOs, climate change is a real and present danger. It threatens to disrupt the water supplies and supply chains of companies as diverse as Coca-Cola and ExxonMobil. Rising sea levels and more intense storms put their infrastructure at risk, and the costs will only get worse," said Mr. Kim.

"CEOs know this. They also know there is opportunity in how they respond. But while there are stand-out leaders, many others are holding back until they have more certainty about what governments will do," Mr. Kim said.

At the World Economic Forum, Mr. Kim called on government leaders to break out of the small steps of business as usual and provide that structure. First, by putting a price on carbon and by having financial regulators require companies and financial institutions to assess their exposure to climate-related risks and disclose it.

Mr. Kim also called for doubling the market for green bonds, which support climate adaptation and mitigation projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction, to $20 billion this year and $50 billion by the time a new international climate agreement is reached in Paris in 2015.

Mr. Kim urged institutional investors to commit to green bonds targets in their portfolios. "We have seen great climate leadership from countries and companies, but emissions are still rising, the poor are suffering. This is the year to take action on climate change. There are no excuses."

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