The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is calling for more “ambitious policies” to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, targeting green infrastructure investment from the public and private sector, and a form of carbon pricing.
Early and global action on this, as well as the right incentives and support are necessary, said the global body.
Following the 2015 Paris Agreement where countries agreed to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” to avert catastrophic outcomes, this will require “bringing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero” by 2050.
The ACCA recommends the Border Carbon Adjustments to tackle the limitations of a geographical spread and the level of carbon pricing. These are import tariffs that raise the prices of energy intensive goods so that they include the carbon price applied to domestic producers.
Raising the price of carbon “provides incentives” to transition towards low carbon alternatives and away from fossil fuels.
Recent events, including the floods in China, Europe and US, forest fires in Greece and California have “underscored the need to act on climate change”.
Michael Taylor, chief economist at ACCA, said the importance of the delayed UN Conference on Climate Change COP26 meeting scheduled to take place in Glasgow soon “cannot be overstated”.
He said: “As we say in a white paper briefing published today, ACCA believes that the policies that will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 need to be much more ambitious than they have been so far.
“Recent ECOFIN’s conclusions on climate finance say that carbon pricing and phasing out environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies are key in achieving net zero commitments. We could not agree more.”
He added: “A shift from fossil fuels to low carbon energy requires the replacement of existing carbon-intensive capital with low-carbon capital. Our recommended strategy to reach these ambitious goals involves two key elements: green infrastructure investment from the public and private sector and a form of carbon pricing.
“ACCA is calling on a global minimum carbon price, as in an integrated global economy unilateral action by individual countries has limits. While substantial progress to net zero can only be made by the bigger emitters such as China, the US and EU reaching that goal themselves, net zero will still be missed unless emerging markets also reduce emissions.”