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Carbon pricing flaws have ‘chilling effect’ on clean energy

Failing to create a global framework for carbon pricing will hurt investments for clean energy and low-carbon projects, according to a report from the World Energy Council (WEC).

The report — “World Energy Trilemma: Time to get real – the agent for change” — offers a 10-point action plan for addressing sustainability, energy equity and energy security.

“The current lack of a global carbon pricing framework is having a chilling effect on investment for clean energy and low-carbon infrastructure,” said Joan MacNaughton, executive chair for the study. “Setting long-term, stable policies is crucial to unlocking the needed investments, and business must be part of the solution. Policymakers and industry must work together to reduce uncertainty and manage risk more effectively.”

To unlock energy investments, the study recommends the following:

  • Policy-makers and industry must work to minimize policy and regulatory risks;
  • Market-based approaches to carbon pricing must be adopted;
  • Pricing frameworks must be transparent, flexible and dynamic to meet both medium- to long-term needs.

Other recommendations include:

  • Connecting the “energy trilemma” to the broader national agenda;
  • Providing leadership to build consensus – nationally and globally;
  • Improving policy-maker dialog;
  • Increasing engagement with the financial community;
  • Driving green trade liberalization;
  • Meeting the need for more research, development and demonstration (RD&D);
  • Encouraging joint pre-commercial industry initiatives, including early large-scale demonstration and deployment.


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