THE HONOURABLE CATHERINE MCKENNA (Minister of Environment and Climate Change): Hi Feike. It’s really great to have you here at the Ministerial Meeting on climate change here in Montreal. FEIKE SIJBESMA (CEO of Royal DSM): Appreciate it. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So, climate change is real. We’re seeing impacts around the world, whether it’s hurricanes or forest fires or droughts, and we know we need to be taking action. I always talk about how the market has moved and you’ve really seen that businesses are part of the solution, and the environment
and the economy go together. So I think people would be interested in understanding there’s a carbon pricing leadership coalition. And you’re co-chair with me. But talk about what is this carbon pricing leadership coalition? Why does it matter? FEIKE SIJBESMA: I think like you, I’m… I have the same opinion. We need to address climate change right now and too many people are suffering already today. You mentioned the hurricanes, but also the flooding in Bangladesh, or the droughts in the Horn of Africa, and people see the impact already today and we cannot continue to put the burden to our children. So I think the best is that you and I try
to achieve with the carbon pricing alliance is to put an incentive into our economic system, facilitating, stimulating people, businesses especially, to take action. And if we put a price on carbon, then there is an economic incentive for business to address it right now and then we’re not dependent only on people who want to do good or well for the world, but also that every economic incentive. And I think it would be really great if we
can speed this up. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So let’s talk about speeding that up. So in Canada we have said across the country there needs to be a price on what we call pollution – carbon pollution – by 2018. And we have a lot of businesses who are supportive. But internationally, what’s your sense? Are businesses supportive? Are you seeing more momentum around this? FIEKE SIJBESMA: Well, we see that a lot of countries in the world want to achieve the Paris Treaty – almost 100 countries – and soon we’re going to evaluate where we are, and I’m sure that we’ll come to the conclusion that putting a price on carbon will speed up to achieve Paris. So from a country perspective, I hope that more countries will follow your leadership as you do in Canada. Europe has a system but it needs to be more effective because the prices are too low. China is now moving towards a carbon pricing system at the end of this year. Still maybe in a modest way, but making an important step. And I hope that many other countries will
follow. On the company side, we have almost more than 1,000 companies right now probably who have (inaudible) put are now putting a price on carbon. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So talk about that. Because people are probably wondering, okay, countries can do it, but if you were a business, why would you put an internal price… why
would you say, we’re going to look at the price of pollution as the way… in terms
of how we do business. FIEKE SIJBESMA: Yeah. Well, very simple. We did it – 50 euros a tonne… HON. CATHERINE MECKENNA: Wow! FIEKE SIJBESMA: … 60 dollars more or less. And why did we do so? Because we want to make ourselves future proof. This will come. There will come a price on carbon. And I say to all companies, please do it as
soon as possible – this internal price on carbon. Because we learned also, it takes a couple of years to get used to it. How do you exactly measure? How do you deal with your internal investments funds? How do the different businesses report on that? How does it work in the different countries in which you operate in the world? All kinds of questions and things you need to sort out as a company. And you need a couple of years to sort that out. And I don’t want to wait. And if the price on carbon comes, and we say, oh, we need to learn how this works. No. Our company is fully future proof, fully prepared. I still made (encourage) the rest do the same. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Well, it’s really interesting because Mark Carney who used to be the Governor of the Bank of Canada and now the Governor of the Bank of England talks about this. FIEKE SIJBESMA: Correct. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: I like the way you put it: future proofing. But he talks about this big risk that if businesses don’t act now, we’re moving to a low carbon future so there’s going to be a cliff and
it’s going to be very hard for the businesses that haven’t taken action like yours to
already price carbon because (inaudible) they will have to do it so quickly that it may have a major impact on their bottom line. So I think it’s really great. And I just want to thank you because it takes leadership, and there are a few leaders – business leaders – that have really stepped up. You are certainly one of them, and I will
say that someone who recognizes the importance of having a more sustainable future for my kids and future generations, governments need to be working with business, and it’s a
real pleasure that we’re able to do it together. FIEKE SIJBESMA: I appreciate it very much and doing that together from the public sector and the private sector this is the way to
do it. And together we’ll make this world future
proof. HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Great. Thank you very much. FIEKE SIJBESMA: Thank you.

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