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Enel CEO says global carbon price needed for net-zero targets

Enel CEO says global carbon price needed for net-zero targets
INTERNATIONAL - The world needs a single carbon price to reach climate targets including Europe’s pledge to eliminate emissions by 2050, said the head of the region’s biggest utility.

Such a level should be between 20 euros ($28) to 40 euros per ton of carbon dioxide for the coming years, then rising gradually to punish even the most efficient fossil-fuel plants, Enel SpA Chief Executive Officer Francesco Starace said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos. Futures are currently trading at about 25 euros in Europe.

“We have different carbon prices in different parts of the world, so we should have one to make this work,” he said in an interview in Davos with Bloomberg Television. “We need to harmonize different mechanisms, which isn’t easy.”

The European Commission earlier this month unveiled its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan designed to mobilize at least 1 trillion euros over the next decade to make Europe the world’s first continent to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions in 30 years. The plan is the most ambitious yet and comes at a time when other nations are expanding in fossil fuels and President Donald Trump is pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord.

“It’s the right time for Europe to step in, and Europe can have this leadership,” he said.

The money that Europe has set aside should be considered on top of what the market is providing and should be used to compensate the carbon-intensive industries that are suffering from the green transition, he said.

The finance industry is more than willing to invest in green technology, Starace said.

Global money flowing into the renewable energy industry totaled $282.2 billion last year, up 1% from 2018, BloombergNEF said last week.

BLOOMBERG