Sustainable Markets Initiative urges G7 to consider new carbon prices

A letter co-signed by a number of leading global organisations is urging the G7 to accelerate action limiting greenhouse gas emissions by ramping carbon prices.

The letter makes the case for a price starting at around $30 per tonne and potentially moving beyond $120 per tonne if the world is forced to consider options such as drawing emissions directly out of the atmosphere. The call to action comes ahead of the G7 country leaders meeting in Germany this week.

The signatories have come together under the banner of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) – a collection of more than 400 CEOs and chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The shared goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future. Companies co-signing the letter include Johnson Controls, the Bank of America, Mahindra Group, Shell and BP alongside organisations such as Wateraid UK and the Sustainable Food Trust.

“Climate change is a constant and increasing threat,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. “While we must band together to tackle immediate shocks from energy supply and pricing and address the pain it is causing for people and business, we know that our current energy strategy is not sustainable and must be more resilient, reliable and healthy. Whatever measures G7 leaders consider this week to help the global economy must balance short- and long-term needs and incentivise the private sector to do the right thing on sustainability investment. That includes ways to accelerate adoption of advanced technologies to optimise major emitting sectors such as buildings.”

The buildings sector accounts for almost 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and it is a primary target for the United Nations and its Sustainable Development Goals.

Johnson Controls has been operating in the sector for nearly 140 years, with its founder Warren Johnson inventing the first electric room thermostat in 1883. Today the company’s modern-day innovators are using advanced technology to transform how buildings are controlled through the Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform. OpenBlue sits on top of buildings’ operational technology, taking data from connected devices running heating, lighting and ventilation and other systems, and it applies machine learning analytics – either locally or in the cloud – to manage performance in real-time.

The goal of Johnson Controls is to make future buildings more autonomous and far more sustainable, as well as smarter and healthier.

According to Katie McGinty, Johnson Controls Chief Sustainability Officer: “We know that real energy security can only come from a strategy that cuts costs and carbon. The best place to start is energy efficiency as technology today can dramatically cut energy consumption and emissions while boosting the bottom line. A major acceleration of effort to upgrade buildings will bring more secure communities and a stable climate. G7 leaders have the opportunity and obligation now to drive action with smart policy and favorable investment incentives.”

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