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World Bank proposes back-dated emissions payments

In its World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate
Change
, which it uses to advise international governments across
industrialised nations, large companies also need to spend more on clean energy
research and help poorer countries that have been more deeply affected by
climate change.

It will table a proposal at the key UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in
December forcing companies from industrialised countries that have traditionally
relied heavily on fossil fuels to pay for carbon emitted in the past, as well as
carbon it continues to emit to operate its business now. It suggests a unified
carbon price ­ so every company in every country will pay the same price per
tonne.

Currently, prices per tonne vary by country and by trading system ­ for
example, one price via the Carbon Reduction Commitment and another through the
European Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Bank says global research and development investment needs to increase
anywhere from $100m to $700m annually. With current investment at $13m from
public funds and up to $60m from private funds, it seems business would have to
pick up most of that tab.

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