• World Bank, IMF panel on carbon pricing draws new members
  • Call made ahead of UN global warming talks set for December

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet and six other leaders in a call to erect a global system of carbon pricing as a tool in the fight against climate change.

The leaders of France, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Mexico, California and Rio de Janeiro also signed up to the Carbon Pricing Panel, a group created by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to promote a system that puts a cost on pollution. Together they are pressing for a system that would create an economic reason for restraining the emissions damaging the atmosphere.

“There has never been a global movement to put a price on carbon at this level and with this degree of unison,” said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group. “It marks a turning point from the debate on the economic systems needed for low carbon growth to the implementation of policies and pricing mechanisms to deliver jobs, clean growth and prosperity.”

The call adds weight to the effort by companies and government officials to find market mechanisms that can restrain carbon dioxide and other pollutants contributing to global warming. While markets were at the heart of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol limiting emissions in industrial nations, the effort has lost momentum as prices sagged in the biggest exchange of pollution offsets.

About 40 countries and 23 cities, states and regions have said they’re implementing a carbon pricing program, according to the World Bank. Ten major oil companies including BP Plc, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Petroleos Mexicanos said on Oct. 16 that they support a global deal to prevent climate change with the goal of keeping the increase in average global temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). They did not offer backing for carbon pricing.

The Europe Union has had a carbon market since 2005. The benchmark December carbon futures were 8.39 euros ($9.50) a metric ton at 15:05 pm in London today. BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, has said that it believes that governments may put a price of $24 to $50 per metric ton.

The private sector is also involved in Monday’s call, with support from the California Public Employees Retirement System, French energy company Engie SA, India’s Mahindra Group, and Koninklijke DSM NV in the Netherlands.

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