EU commission chief asks G20 to join global carbon pricing

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Manila visit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The European Commission president asked G20 leaders on Saturday to join a proposal to set up global carbon pricing.

Many countries are using a price on carbon to help meet their climate goals in the form of a tax or under an emissions trading (ETS), or cap-and-trade, system.

According to a World Bank report, there are currently 73 carbon pricing instruments in operation, covering around 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"Climate change is man-made. So it means we can address it. For this we need innovation, investments in green technologies, renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency ... At the G20 I invited leaders to join the call for global carbon pricing," Ursula von der Leyen wrote on X social media, formerly known as Twitter.

Leyen has been pushing the international community to introduce global carbon pricing to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy.

She had similarly advocated for this during a summit in Paris in June, where she termed the current percentage of emissions covered by a price "almost nothing".

Speaking at the opening session of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Leyen said that the EU's 'Emissions Trading System' has helped reduce emission by 35% since 2005, while generating more than 152 billion euros ($162.6 billion) of revenues.

"But more revenues will be needed," she said.

Japan, the world's fifth-biggest carbon dioxide emitter, is among the G20 countries that have recently adopted carbon pricing. The Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to open its carbon credit market and begin trading around October.

Climate talks in the G20 grouping, responsible for 80% of global emissions, are being keenly watched by the world ahead of a crucial global stocktake COP28 meeting in the United Arab Emirates later this year.

So far, however, there does not seem to be a great deal of movement on climate change. The draft of the leaders' declaration circulated among delegates and reviewed by Reuters also does not set down concrete emission reduction targets for fossil fuels.

However, it does reiterate "the importance of a policy mix consisting of fiscal, market and regulatory mechanisms, including, as appropriate, the use of carbon pricing and non-pricing mechanisms and incentives toward carbon neutrality and net zero.

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(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh and Katya Golubkova; writing by Sakshi Dayal and Shivam Patel; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jacqueline Wong)