G20 Endorses International Carbon Pricing – Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

G20 Guest Bankers also spoke of the need to “unlock” pension funds, so they can invest ordinary people’s savings into combatting the climate crisis.

G20 ministers endorse carbon pricing to help tackle climate change

ECB president Christine Lagarde calls for mechanism that reflects ‘true cost of carbon’

Leslie Hook in London and Kristen Talman in Venice

G20 finance ministers have collectively endorsed carbon pricing for the first time, describing the once contentious idea as one of “a wide set of tools” to tackle climate change.

The issue of taxing carbon dioxide emissions has long divided G20 members, with the US in particular historically opposed.

“Tackling climate change and biodiversity loss and promoting environmental protection remain urgent priorities,” G20 finance ministers said on Saturday after talks on a global tax deal and other issues in Venice. The solutions could include, “if appropriate, the use of carbon pricing mechanisms and incentives”, the group said, expressing support for a carbon price in a communique for the first time.

William Nordhaus, an American economist and Nobel laureate, gave the keynote address at the conference, calling for a “climate club” of countries willing to commit to a carbon price.

“A key ingredient in reducing emissions is high carbon prices,” he said, adding that a “climate club” would have to impose a penalty tariff on countries that did not have carbon pricing in place.

“When it comes to unlocking fiduciary assets, pension fund assets and asset owner capital, we need to rethink the role of these institutions. We need to rethink their model,” Fink said, referring to the World Bank and the IMF.

Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/9cd74b8f-4d6c-4cf8-a249-87c0acb1a828

The Biden representative US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly skirted around the issue of a carbon tax, though notably absent was a swift rejection of the idea.

The comment about “unlocking fiduciary assets” like pension investments is particularly disturbing. Usually you unlock something because you want access to the contents.

Back in the 1980s, governments around the world passed laws to encourage private pension savings, but they didn’t practice what they preached. Now the world is full of financially distressed debt ridden governments, greedily eyeing off those huge but currently inaccessible pots of private pension money.

The CCP were the first government to crack – in 2020 the Chinese Communists announced they were taking control of private sector investments. Despite China’s high private savings rate, China has some serious financial problems, like a desperate need to finance reconstruction after their 2020 flood catastrophe. They might have been able to absorb such a loss in normal times, but the flood disaster, coupled with the 2020 Covid shock, and the Chinese governments’ already stretched financial position due to their frantic military buildup, along with their slowly escalating demographic crisis, may be pushing China’s public finances to the brink of collapse. Bond defaults, including defaults on bonds issued by government enterprises, are at a record high.

The new laws to allow the CCP to access private savings could be an attempt to buy some time. My opinion is the Chinese Communists likely plan to use their new powers over how private money is invested, to quietly force private savings banks to commit their cash balances to government approved projects, to use the money they’ve seized from private banks to plug gaping holes in China’s public finances.

Given the Chinese Government so far appears to be getting away with whatever they are doing, how can financially distressed Western governments also join the pillaging, and get their hands on your savings?

The alleged climate crisis is the key to making this happen. We have already seen the attack plan – international banking bodies and governments are increasingly subjecting member banks and pension funds to climate resilience tests. Such climate tests in my opinion will likely be used force private funds to invest in dubious crony capitalist green energy projects, to offset the alleged climate risk of other investments in their portfolios.

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