This Selected Issues paper discusses measures to enhance resilience to climate and natural disasters in Seychelles. Rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, increasingly intense and frequent tropical cyclones, and massive coral bleaching are compounding economic and social risks in Seychelles. A policy mix focused on combining adaptation and mitigation strategies is ideal for Seychelles. Such policies should not only be aligned with Seychelles’ Nationally Determined Contribution, but also with the technical and financial capacity of the government. Experience from other small states suggests that small policy changes can still have a significant impact. To the extent adaptation and mitigation measures are inadequate, insurance policies and innovative financial instruments need to be exploited further.
Ricardo Marto, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Mr. Vladimir Klyuev
We present a dynamic small open economy model to explore the macroeconomic impact of natural disasters. In addition to permanent damages to public and private capital, the disaster causes temporary losses of productivity, inefficiencies during the reconstruction process, and damages to the sovereign's creditworthiness. We use the model to study the debt sustainability concerns that arise from the need to rebuild public infrastructure over the medium term and analyze the feasibility of ex ante policies, such as building adaptation infrastructure and fiscal buffers, and contrast these policies with the post-disaster support provided by donors. Investing in resilient infrastructure may prove useful, in particular if it is viewed as complementary to standard infrastructure, because it raises the marginal product of private capital, crowding in private investment, while helping withstand the impact of the natural disaster. In an application to Vanuatu, we find that donors should provide an additional 50% of pre-cyclone GDP in grants to be spent over the following 15 years to ensure public debt remains sustainable following Cyclone Pam. Helping the government build resilience on the other hand, reduces the risk of debt distress and at lower cost for donors.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. James Daniel, Mr. Masahiro Nozaki, Cristian Alonso, Vybhavi Balasundharam, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Chuling Chen, David Corvino, and Mr. Joey Kilpatrick
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing policymakers worldwide, and the stakes are particularly high for Asia and the Pacific. This paper analyzes how fiscal policy can address challenges from climate change in Asia and the Pacific. It aims to answer how policymakers can best promote mitigation, adaptation, and the transition to a low-carbon economy, emphasizing the economic and social implications of reforms, potential policy trade-offs, and country circumstances. The recommendations are grounded in quantitative analysis using country-specific estimates, and granular household, industry, and firm-level data.