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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

into the electric power generation industry was liberalized in December 1995, to allow sales by firms with co-generation capacity to sell to the power companies (but not directly to customers). As a result, about 15 percent of electricity is now generated by new entrants. Costs have declined, as electricity supplied by new firms is about 10–30 percent cheaper to produce than that generated by incumbent power generating firms. In addition, regulations restricting self-service gasoline stations were lifted in April 1998, which the Economic Planning Agency in Japan

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

higher prices for, say, electricity or gasoline. 11 In contrast, a feebate consisting of an extra fee on vehicles with lower- than-average fuel efficiency and a rebate on more efficient vehicles would lead consumers to purchase more efficient vehicles, but it would not reduce vehicle miles driven. Likewise, although a feebate would lead power-generating firms to shift to lower emission technologies, there would be little impact on energy consumption (Online Annex 1.3). Thus, to deliver the entire emissions cut by switching to greener energy while continuing to use

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes macroeconomic developments and prospects for Japan during the 1990s. Following a surge in activity during 1996 and early 1997, the economy fell into recession in the second quarter of 1997. Real GDP fell by 3¾ percent during the four quarters ended March 1998; the unemployment rate reached historical highs; and deflationary pressures reemerged. The downturn was largely unexpected, and most forecasters had projected growth of about 2 percent in 1997. This paper also examines fiscal policy issues for Japan.