THE LEX COLUMN: Carbon pricing and heavy weather
Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, has called for a fivefold rise in the cost of emitting carbon
Floods, fires and violent storms inflate insurance losses. No wonder Munich Re wants more action on climate change. The world’s largest reinsurer this week called for a fivefold rise in the cost of emitting carbon. It wants a bigger incentive for European business to move away from fossil fuels.
Sweden is the inspiration — and not just because of snazzy carbon-friendly projects like its radiator-free high-rise flats, warmed by body heat. It has a $139 per ton carbon tax — the highest in the world. Sweden boasts that it has decoupled emissions from economic growth. But it helps that four fifths of its electricity production comes from nuclear and hydroelectric power. And the record on road transport emissions is not dazzling. They declined only 4% from 1990 — the year before the carbon tax was introduced — to 2015.