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Energy companies aim for carbon pricing plan

Six of the largest oil and gas companies in Europe have asked the United Nations (UN) to help them develop a plan to combat global warming. 03 Jun 2015

The chief executives of Shell, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni and BG Group told the Financial Times that they have written to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN framework convention on climate change, asking for "direct dialogue with the UN and willing governments" on how to create a global carbon pricing system.

"We owe it to future generations to seek realistic, workable solutions to the challenge of providing more energy while tackling climate change. We have important areas of interest in and contributions to make to creating and implementing a workable approach to carbon pricing," the executives said in a letter to the FT.

Replacing coal with cleaner-burning natural gas in electricity generation would quickly reduce carbon emissions, while carbon pricing measures, with a network connecting national and regional schemes, would boost climate-friendly investment, the letter said.

The appeal comes ahead of a UN climate change conference that will be held in Paris in December where 200 countries are expected to sign a global climate pact with the aim of keeping the global rise in temperature under 2%.

Last month, Sunny Verghese, chief executive of one the largest agricultural commodity traders in the world, called for carbon pricing to control dioxide emissions, saying that "If something is free, we will use it indiscriminately".

Ed Davey, the UK’s former secretary of state for energy and climate change said in September 2014 that every country in the world should commit to reducing carbon emissions "in a way that reflects their national situation".

Davey was speaking as the UK government published a new report setting out what it hoped to see from a potential global climate change deal, which is due to be finalised in Paris in 2015.

The push for a carbon pricing plan is not agreed by all energy companies.
ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest US oil producers, have said they will not join a European company initiative to forge a common position on global warming, the Financial Times said.