Monday, June 6, 2011

World Bank to suggest carbon tax on jet and shipping fuel

The World Bank will suggest a global levy on jet and shipping fuel in recommendations to G20 governments later this year on raising climate finance, a senior official said on Sunday.

Developed countries have already written off chances of agreement on a new binding deal at a U.N. conference in Durban this year, placing a new focus on piecemeal efforts including fund-raising.

Binding targets under the Kyoto Protocol cap the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 40 industrialised countries but expire in 2012 and now look unlikely to be extended in time.

The World Bank is focusing on a levy on shipping and jet fuels in a report to G20 finance minister in October, among other efforts to keep climate action on track.

"We are looking at carbon emissions-based sources ... including bunker (shipping) fuels and aviation fuels, that would be internationally coordinated albeit nationally collected," said Andrew Steer, World Bank special envoy for climate change.

The Bank estimates the extra cost to help the developing world prepare for more droughts, floods and rising seas at $100 billion annually. Various sources put the extra cost of cutting carbon emissions at $200 billion or more annually.

Steer said he was disappointed by the pace of a U.N. climate process which launched talks in 2007 to find a Kyoto successor.

"I've got to say the situation is very urgent and sometimes that sense of urgency is not evident in the negotiations." (read more)