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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Without substantial mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures are projected to rise by around 4°C above preindustrial levels by 2100 (they have already increased by 1°C since 1900).1 Global warming causes major damage to the global economy and the natural world and engenders risks of catastrophic and irreversible outcomes such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events (already more frequent) leading to loss of life, and the possibility of much higher warming scenarios.2 Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion account for a dominant (63 percent) and growing share of global greenhouse gas emissions and are the most immediately practical to control (Figure 1.1, panel 1).3 Policy action is thus urgently needed to curtail emissions. The longer that action is delayed, the greater the accumulation in the atmosphere, and the more abrupt and costly will be the necessary action to stabilize global temperatures.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

This report emphasizes the environmental, fiscal, economic, and administrative case for using carbon taxes, or similar pricing schemes such as emission trading systems, to implement climate mitigation strategies. It provides a quantitative framework for understanding their effects and trade-offs with other instruments and applies it to the largest advanced and emerging economies. Alternative approaches, like “feebates” to impose fees on high polluters and give rebates to cleaner energy users, can play an important role when higher energy prices are difficult politically. At the international level, the report calls for a carbon price floor arrangement among large emitters, designed flexibly to accommodate equity considerations and constraints on national policies. The report estimates the consequences of carbon pricing and redistribution of its revenues for inequality across households. Strategies for enhancing the political acceptability of carbon pricing are discussed, along with supporting measures to promote clean technology investments.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Chapter 1 argues that fiscal policy should remain nimble and strengthen its medium-term frameworks, as countries face highly uncertain and differentiated prospects. Vaccination has saved lives and is helping fuel a nascent recovery, but risks are elevated amidst new virus variants, high debt, and poverty. In advanced economies, the shift in fiscal support toward medium-term packages to “build back better” will have overall positive effects globally. Emerging markets and low-income developing countries face a more challenging outlook, with permanent economic scarring and revenue losses. They need international support to increase vaccine availability and financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Many countries find themselves in a situation where fiscal support is still invaluable to protect lives and livelihoods. At the same time, governments are also facing questions on their elevated debt and gross financing needs. Chapter 2 provides countries with guidance on how they can both avoid withdrawing fiscal support too early, and yet signal to the public that their debt levels are sustainable in the long run. To commit to future deficit reduction, governments have several instruments, including undertaking structural fiscal reforms (such as pension reform or subsidies reform), pre-legislating changes to taxes or spending, committing to fiscal rules that lead to deficit reduction in the future. Countries that follow debt rules, for instance, manage to reduce debt faster that other countries, although fiscal rules should also provide enough flexibility to spend in times of need. Overall, governments that commit to sound public finances and that achieve high levels of fiscal transparency reap meaningful benefits: their budgets are more credible, their announcements are better perceived by the media, and they pay lower interest rates on their debt.

International Monetary Fund

Norway NPL Nepal NZL New Zealand OMN Oman PAK Pakistan PAN Panama PER Peru PHL Philippines P LW Palau PNG Papua New Guinea POL Poland PRT Portugal PRY Paraguay QAT Qatar ROU Romania RUS Russian Federation RWA Rwanda SAU Saudi Arabia SDN Sudan SEN Senegal SGP Singapore SLB Solomon Islands SLE Sierra Leone SLV El Salvador SMR San Marino SOM Somalia SRB Serbia

International Monetary Fund

Nepal NZL New Zealand OMN Oman PAK Pakistan PAN Panama PER Peru PHL Philippines P LW Palau PNG Papua New Guinea POL Poland PRT Portugal PRY Paraguay QAT Qatar ROU Romania RUS Russian Federation RWA Rwanda SAU Saudi Arabia SDN Sudan SEN Senegal SGP Singapore SLB Solomon Islands SLE Sierra Leone SLV El Salvador SMR San Marino SOM Somalia SRB Serbia STP São Tomé and

International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses a request from Samoa's authorities for a Disbursement Under the Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF-RAC). The tsunami that hit Samoa on September 29, 2009 has undercut Samoa’s economic resilience and prospects for a quick recovery from the global recession. Real GDP is likely to contract in 2010. The authorities have requested a disbursement equivalent to 50 percent of quota (SDR 5.8 million) under the IMF’s ESF-RAC. IMF staff supports the request on Samoa’s low public debt and credible commitment to sound macroeconomic policies.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the extent to which conclusions of cross-country studies of private savings are robust to allowing for the possible heterogeneity of savings behavior across countries and the inclusion of dynamics. It shows that neglecting heterogeneity and dynamics can lead to misleading inferences about the key determinants of savings behavior. The results indicate that among the many variables considered in the literature only the fiscal variables—the general government surplus as a proportion of GDP and the ratio of government consumption to GDP—are important determinants of private savings rates in the industrial countries in the post-World War II period.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Economics of Demographics provides a detailed look at how the biggest demographic upheaval in history is affecting global development. The issue explores demographic change and the effects of population aging from a variety of angles, including pensions, health care, financial markets, and migration, and looks specifically at the impact in Europe and Asia. Picture This looks at global demographic trends, while Back to Basics explains the concept of the demographic dividend. Country Focus spotlights Kazakhstan, while People in Economics profiles Nobel prize winner Robert Mundell. IMF Economic Counsellor Raghuram Rajan argues for further change in India's style of government in his column, Straight Talk.
Mr. Christoph Duenwald, Mr. Yasser Abdih, Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Vahram Stepanyan, Abdullah Al-Hassan, Gareth Anderson, Ms. Anja Baum, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Lamiae Agoumi, Chen Chen, Mehdi Benatiya Andaloussi, Sahra Sakha, Faten Saliba, and Jesus Sanchez
Climate change is among humanity’s greatest challenges, and the Middle East and Central Asia region is on the frontlines of its human, economic, and physical ramifications. Much of the region is located in already difficult climate zones, where global warming exacerbates desertification, water stress, and rising sea levels. This trend entails fundamental economic disruptions, endangers food security, and undermines public health, with ripple effects on poverty and inequality, displacement, and conflict. Considering the risks posed by climate change, the central message of this departmental paper is that adapting to climate change by boosting resilience to climate stresses and disasters is a critical priority for the region’s economies.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
Two recent criticisms of summary fiscal indicators are appraised: first, that they and the conventionally measured public sector balances from which they are derived are not sufficiently broadly defined; second, that they are meaningless because they do not reflect changes in the distribution of wealth between generations. The paper concludes that the defects of summary fiscal indicators have been exaggerated. It is not feasible to include all changes in public sector net worth in the deficit, and the existence of liquidity constraints and aversion to indebtedness imply that conventionally measured public sector deficits are not irrelevant.