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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

IMF Country Report No. 22/381

Jochen M. Schmittmann and Yun Gao
We analyze the corporate green bond market under a rational framework without an innate green preference, using a simple adverse selection model. Firms can use green bonds to signal their green credentials to investors. Transition risk stems from uncertainty over the introduction of carbon pricing. We show that green bonds have a price premium over conventional bonds when there are information asymmetry, transition risk, and it is costly to engage in greenwashing, that is, false or exaggerated claims of being green. The extent of greenwashing in the market is a function of the green bond premium. A swift and gradual implementation of carbon pricing generates a small green bond premium and a low level of greenwashing, while delayed and large carbon pricing has an ambiguous effect on both. The model provides a rich set of policy implications, notably the need for swift action on carbon pricing and strong information disclosures and regulations to ensure the integrity of green bonds.
Rohit Goel, Deepali Gautam, and Mr. Fabio M Natalucci
Sustainable finance has become a key focus area for global investors and policy makers. Last year proved to be a breakout year for emerging markets (EMs), with sustainable debt issuance in 2021 surging to almost $200 billion. This working paper, the first comprehensive study in the literature, analyzes the evoluiton of EM sustainable finance markets, including differences with advanced economies. The analysis shows how sustainable finance in EMs is growing fast not just in aggregate but importantly across many dimensions. The paper also identifies key development areas for EMs and policies to strengthen the resilience of sustainable finance markets.
Mr. Selim A Elekdag and Maxwell Tuuli
This paper assesses the stabilization properties of fixed versus flexible exchange rate regimes and aims to answer this research question: Does greater exchange rate flexibility help an economy’s adjustment to weather shocks? To address this question, the impact of weather shocks on real per capita GDP growth is quantified under the two alternative exchange rate regimes. We find that although weather shocks are generally detrimental to per capita income growth, the impact is less severe under flexible exchange rate regimes. Moreover, the medium-term adverse growth impact of a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature under a pegged regime is about –1.4 percentage points on average, while under a flexible regime, the impact is less than one half that amount (–0.6 percentage point). This finding bolsters the idea that exchange rate flexibility not only helps mitigate the initial impact of the shock but also promotes a faster recovery. In terms of mechanisms, our findings suggest that the depreciation of the nominal exchange rate under a flexible regime supports real export growth. In contrast to standard theoretical predictions, we find that countercyclical fiscal policy may not be effective under pegged regimes amid high debt, highlighting the importance of the policy mix and precautionary (fiscal) buffers.
Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Nour Tawk
Lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced overall energy demand but electricity generation from renewable sources has been resilient. While this partly reflects the trend increase in renewables, the empirical analysis presented in this paper highlights that recessions result in a permanent, albeit small, increase in energy efficiency and in the share of renewables in total electricity. These effects are stronger in the case of advanced economies and when complemented with environment and energy policies—both market-based measures such as taxes on pollutants, trading schemes and feed-in-tariffs, as well as non-market measures such as emission and fuel standards and R&D investment and subsidies—to incentivize and hasten the transition towards renewable sources of energy.
Caio Ferreira, Mr. David L Rozumek, Mr. Ranjit Singh, and Felix Suntheim
Strengthening the climate information architecture is paramount to promote transparency and global comparability of data and thus improve market confidence, safeguard financial stability, and foster sustainable finance. This note provides a conceptual framework around the provision of climate-related information, discusses the progress made to date, and points toward the way forward. Progress and convergence are required on the three buildings blocks of a climate information architecture: (1) high-quality, reliable, and comparable data; (2) a globally harmonized and consistent set of climate disclosure standards; and (3) a globally agreed upon set of principles for climate finance taxonomies. A decisive, globally coordinated effort is needed to move forward on all three fronts.