French President Emmanuel Macron told a sustainable finance conference on Thursday that Europe needs to set a minimum price for emitting carbon.
“We need a European price floor for carbon. I know it won’t be easy, there will be resistance from all around”, he said.
The policy has been much discussed in policy and financial circles in recent years, but has yet to bear sufficient fruit. The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme has been widely criticised for not being efficient enough. There are also separate carbon prices in different European countries, which aren’t joined up.
Reuters also reports that President Macron also told the summit that France would stick to its previous commitment of increasing the price of carbon within its own jurisdiction to 84 euros per tonne in 2022, up from the current 44 euros.
Macron also suggested that a portion of the EU budget should be spent on making the transition to a low-carbon economy, stating: “I think a target of 40 percent of the budget would allow for this transition to be ambitious rather than measured, as it is today.”
The French President has carved out a role for himself as a climate leader since his election last May. Along with pushing for stronger policies and funding for renewables, Mr. Macron also convened the One Planet Summit in Paris, designed to accelerate financing behind sustainability and climate change.
The European Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, was also present at the conference to promote the EU’s new Action Plan on sustainable finance. He echoed Macron’s sentiments on climate, saying that “Europe’s financial sector must lead the green transition and make our Union the global destination for sustainable investment. There is no greater return on investment then a healthy planet and economy.”