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March 22, 2023

Disclosure isn’t enough: It’s time to tax high-carbon investment

By David Donnelly, Marie Fricaudet and Nadia Ameli
Emissions cooling towers
An investment emissions intensity tax would penalise investors if their portfolio emissions intensity exceeded thresholds tied to net zero pathways. (Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The introduction of an investment emissions intensity tax to penalise investors based on the emissions their portfolios finance would challenge funds to match net zero declarations with actions.

This is supposed to be the golden age of climate disclosure. But despite their catastrophic emissions, business is booming for oil and gas majors: ExxonMobil’s share price hit an all-time high this February; BP executive pay doubled; Shell reported its highest profits in 115 years; while G20 countries subsidised oil, gas and coal to the tune of $3.2tn between 2016 and 2020.

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