Remarks by Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands Wilma Mansveld at COP21 / Business Dialogue on Carbon Prices and Market Mechanisms

  • I’m happy that we’re holding this dialogue. Business and government need to join forces in order to make the most of the many opportunities out there.

  • We need innovation, a spirit of enterprise, and ambition.

  • Climate ambitions and economic actions can reinforce each other. As affirmed by the Calderón report on the new climate economy.

  • And that’s why I want this dialogue – and the role of non-state actors – to be embedded in the new climate agreement.

  • If we want to use every opportunity, we need two things:

1) a clear goal and
2) clear directions to that goal.

  • < > We already have a clear goal: to ensure that future investments are climate-neutral and climate-proof. Many companies have already endorsed this goal. And I count on your support for incorporating it into the Paris agreement.

    2) But we need the right price signals to point us in the right direction. And that’s why carbon pricing – preferably on a large global market – is so important. Your endorsement of this mechanism sends out an important signal.

  • On paper, we know what the key conditions are for a well-functioning market:

a) There should be multiple, simple, fraud-proof systems for emissions trading;

b) These systems must be robust, based on ambitious targets that are stepped up over time;

c) It must be possible to link them up. There must be mutual confidence between the systems. And they must use equivalent units: a tonne is always a tonne;

d) Finally, the systems must be stable. This can be achieved with a stable long-term pricing mechanism.

  • But how are we going to create these conditions in the real world? Because ambition calls for action. The dialogue must seek to answer the following questions:

  • How fast will the emission ceiling fall? How do we deal with the different base prices currently being paid? How do we deal with free emissions allocation and emissions auctions?

  • I want to hear what the business community has to say about all this.

  • And I believe the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) is an outstanding platform for discussing these issues.

  • It offers an opportunity for businesses, countries and regions to develop solutions together… and to link up existing systems (such as in California and Quebec).

  • The Netherlands will provide strong, permanent support to the CPLC. And we welcome the move to start a structural dialogue with the business community.

  • I count on your commitment to make good on your pledge of support, so that together we can build a robust global carbon market.