Latin America sees surge in carbon pricing interest

Grupa Televisa, Petrobras and Banco Santander Brasil are among the major South American companies waking up to carbon risk, survey shows

A windfarm in Brazil (Flickr/The Danish Wind Industry Association)


Latin American markets are witnessing a surge in companies preparing for tougher climate laws, a report released on the sidelines of Climate Week New York City said.

The number of major companies preparing for a national carbon price doubled to 26 in Mexico, and rose 74% to 47 in Brazil said the study by UK-based carbon disclosure analysts CDP.

Businesses using an internal price on carbon to hedge against proposed national laws include Hispanic America’s largest multimedia company Grupa Televisa, Brazilian energy giant Petrobras and Banco Santander Brasil.

“Brazil is a market to watch,” said CDP, noting the government is considering plans for a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Mexico has a carbon tax on some fossil fuels and is due to roll out a national emissions trading scheme by 2018.

Globally the number of companies with carbon pricing initiatives in place or in the pipeline hit 1,249 in 2016, a 23% increase on last year, with the majority still in North America and Europe.

Oil giants that revealed their pricing strategies to CDP include Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, Total and Statoil, which have internal prices for a tonne of carbon ranging from US$27-80.

Walt Disney, BNY Mellon, Wells Fargo, Dow Chemical and Monsanto are among the 111 North American companies using a carbon price to assess their risks to future climate policies.

CDP said it was too early to assess whether this year’s increase was linked to the Paris climate agreement reached in December 2015.

Steady growth in interest among Chinese firms appears linked to longstanding plans by Beijing to deploy a national carbon market by 2017 which could cover half of the country’s emissions.

A 63% growth in companies assessing carbon risk in India could be credited to a raft of new policies from the government in Delhi including a higher coal tax, said CDP.

The study was based on disclosures from 5,759 companies responding to a survey.

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