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Reproduced from World Bank Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

Carbon pricing via taxes and emissions trading systems are growing worldwide but confront a mix of old and new problems, a new World Bank report shows.

Driving the news: The share of global greenhouse gas emissions covered by some kind of pricing system is slated to reach an estimated 22% next year.

  • There are 61 initiatives in place or scheduled to kick in, the bank said in the report that tallies a suite of national and regional policies.
  • The report sees a bump in the share of emissions covered coming in large part from planned launch of China's national system.

Why it matters: Pricing is a favored tool among many climate advocates (and economists in particular) and multinational groups.

  • But the annual study notes that the coronavirus pandemic is creating headwinds. Some jurisdictions are delaying plans to strengthen their system and extending compliance deadlines, the report notes.
  • The pandemic is also causing problems for the UN-administered emissions system for airlines.
  • There's "increased uncertainty for the demand for international credits with airlines questioning the impact of COVID-19 on their offsetting obligations."

The big picture: Prices in most regions "remain substantially lower than those needed to be consistent with the Paris Agreement," the report finds.

  • It cites estimates that prices in the $40–$80 per ton of CO2 (rising to $50–$100 by 2030) are needed.
  • "As of today, less than 5 percent of GHG emissions currently covered by a carbon price are within this range," it notes, with pricing in most areas vastly lower.
  • Worth noting: Pricing systems also raise revenues for climate programs (and other goals) even if they're too low to directly influence industrial and consumer choices.

Yes, but: Despite successes internationally, carbon pricing wasn't getting much love in the U.S. during the earlier days of the Green New Deal debate or the Democratic primary — and it still isn't, Vox reports.

  • But it hasn't disappeared. "[F]or most climate types these days, the attitude toward pricing is: It would be helpful — and if it turns out to be possible, go for it — but it is neither necessary nor central to comprehensive climate policy."
  • It's a huge shift from 2009–2010, when a sweeping cap-and-trade plan was at the heart of Democratic climate legislation that passed the House but collapsed in the Senate.

What we're watching: Joe Biden's climate plan includes a vague nod to carbon pricing, noting "polluters must bear the full cost of the carbon pollution." But that's about all we know so far.

Go deeper

Sep 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden’s centrist mirage

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden spent a career cultivating the image of a deal-making centrist — and is making this a key selling point for swing voters in 2020. But the modern Biden has been pushed left by his party's insurgent progressives.

Why it matters: Biden has moved to the left to accommodate party activists on crime, climate, education, immigration and health care. His central challenge with many swing voters: Prove he didn't move too far, too fast. 

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.