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Shell, Unilever Lead 100 Companies Calling for CO2 Price

Royal Dutch Shell Plc joined Unilever NV and more than 100 companies calling for lawmakers worldwide to put a “clear” price on carbon emissions in order to contain global warming.

Companies invest trillions of dollars in energy and infrastructure projects, and, in most cases, don’t consider goals to cut greenhouse gases, the companies said today in a statement that’s due to be presented to European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard in Brussels.

“A clear, stable, ambitious and cost-effective policy framework is essential to underpin the investment needed to deliver substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions by mid-century,” the companies said in the e-mailed statement. “Putting a clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon emissions must be a core policy objective.”

The clarity is needed to channel spending into projects that reduce emissions and help the world meet the United Nations goal of containing global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the note. Climate envoys from more than 190 nations are due to gather next week in Doha for two weeks of UN negotiations on the issue.

Locked In

Almost 80 percent of the emissions allowable by 2035 under a 2-degree scenario are already locked in because of future gases from existing power plants, factories and buildings, the International Energy Agency said last week. By 2017, all the allowable emissions will be locked in if no action is taken, the agency said.

“Effective carbon pricing offers the potential to mobilize finance at a scale that can impact the climate challenge,” the companies wrote.

The letter was coordinated by Prince Charles’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, a club of companies brought together by the heir to the British throne and managed by the University of Cambridge. Other signatories included Alstom SA, Acciona SA, Electricite de France SA’s EDF Energy unit, Skanska AB and Aviva Plc.

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