Countries raised a record US$95-billion last year by charging firms for emitting carbon dioxide, but prices are still too low to drive changes needed to meet Paris climate accord targets, the World Bank said in a report on Tuesday.
“Even in difficult economic times, governments are prioritizing direct carbon pricing policies to reduce emissions. But to really drive change at the scale needed, we will need to see big advances both in terms of coverage and price,” Jennifer Sara, global director for climate change at the World Bank said.
Several countries are using a price on carbon emissions to help meet their climate goals in the form of a tax, or under an emissions trading (ETS), or cap-and-trade, system.
There are currently 73 global carbon pricing instruments in operation, compared with 68 when the World Bank issued its 2022 report last May, covering around 23 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The figure raised in 2022 in carbon revenues was up from around US$84-billion raised in 2021.
In 2017, a report by the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices indicated carbon prices need to be in the US$50-100 per ton range by 2030 to keep a rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees C, the upper end of the limit agreed upon in the 2015 Paris agreement.
“As of April 1, 2023 less than 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are covered by a direct carbon price at or above the range recommended by 2030,” the report said.
Adjusted for inflation those prices would now need to be in a US$61-122 ton range, the World Bank report said.