Adaptation to climate change is a necessity for advanced and developing economies alike. Policymakers face the challenge of facilitating this transition. This Note argues that adaptation to climate change should be part of a holistic development strategy involving both private and public sector responses. Governments can prioritize public investment in adaptation programs with positive externalities, address market imperfections and policies that make private adaptation inefficient, and mobilize revenues for, and distribute the benefits of, adaptation. Although the choice of what should be done and at what cost ultimately depends on each society’s preferences, economic theory provides a useful framework to maximize the impact of public spending. Cost-benefit analysis, complemented by the analysis of distributional effects, can be used to prioritize adaptation programs as well as all other development programs to promote an efficient and just transition to a changed climate. While compensations may be needed to offset damages that are either impossible or too expensive to abate, subsidies for adaptation require careful calibration to prevent excessive risk taking.
Mr. Zamid Aligishiev, Emanuele Massetti, and Mr. Matthieu Bellon
Adaptation to climate change is an integral part of sustainable development and a necessity for advanced and developing economies alike. How can adaptation be planned for and mainstreamed into fiscal policy? Setting up inclusive coordination mechanisms and strengthening legal foundations to incorporate climate change can be a prerequisite. This Note identifies four building blocks: 1. Taking stock of present and future climate risks, identifying knowledge and capacity gaps, and establishing guidance for next steps. 2. Developing adaptation solutions. This block can be guided by extending the IMF three-pillar disaster resilience strategy to address changes in both extreme and average weather and would cover the prevention of risks, the alleviation of residual risks, and macro-fiscal resilience. 3. Mainstreaming these solutions into government operations. This requires strengthening public financial management institutions by factoring climate risks and adaptation plans into budgets and macro-frameworks, and in the management of public investment, assets and liabilities. 4. Providing for transparent evaluations to inform future plans. This involves continually monitoring progress and regularly updating adaptation plans.
This Staff Climate Note is part of a series of three Notes (IMF Staff Climate Note 2022/001, 2022/002, and 2022/003) that discuss fiscal policies for climate change adaptation. A first Note (Bellon and Massetti 2022, henceforth Note 1) examines the economic principles that can guide the integration of climate change adaptation into fiscal policy. It argues that climate change adaptation should be part of a holistic, sustainable, and equitable development strategy. To maximize the impact of scarce resources, governments need to prioritize among all development programs, including but not limited to adaptation. To this end, they can use cost-benefit analysis while ensuring that the decision-making process reflects society’s preferences about equity and uncertainty. A second Note (Aligishiev, Bellon, and Massetti. 2022, henceforth Note 2) discusses the macro-fiscal implications of climate change adaptation. It reviews evidence on the effectiveness of adaptation at reducing climate change damages, on residual risks, and on adaptation investment needs, and suggests ways to integrate climate risks and adaptation costs into national macro-fiscal frameworks with the goal of guiding fiscal policy. It stresses that lower-income vulnerable countries, which have typically not contributed much to climate change, face exacerbated challenges that warrant increased international support. This third Note considers how to translate adaptation principles and estimates of climate impacts into effective policies.
Mr. Simon Black, Ian Parry, Mr. James Roaf, and Karlygash Zhunussova
Achieving the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals requires cutting global CO2 emissions 25 to 50 percent this decade, followed by a rapid transition to net zero emissions. The world is currently not yet on track so there is an urgent need to narrow gaps in climate mitigation ambition and policy. Current mitigation pledges for 2030 would achieve just one to two thirds of the emissions reductions needed for limiting warming to 1.5 to 2oC. And additional measures equivalent to a global carbon price exceeding $75 per ton by 2030 are needed. This IMF Staff Climate Note presents extensive quantitative analyses to inform dialogue on closing mitigation ambition and policy gaps. It shows purely illustrative pathways to achieve the needed global emissions reductions while respecting international equity. The Note also presents country-level analyses of the emissions, fiscal, economic, and distributional impacts of carbon pricing and the trade-offs with other instruments—comprehensive mitigation strategies will be key.
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Peter Dohlman, Mr. Cory Hillier, Mr. Martin D Kaufman, Florian Misch, Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Christophe J Waerzeggers, and Miss Kyung Kwak
This Climate Note discusses the rationale, design, and impacts of border carbon adjustments (BCAs), charges on embodied carbon in imports potentially matched by rebates for embodied carbon in exports. Large disparities in carbon pricing between countries is raising concerns about competitiveness and emissions leakage, and BCAs are a potentially effective instrument for addressing such concerns. Design details are critical, however. For example, limiting coverage of the BCA to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries facilitates administration, and initially benchmarking BCAs on domestic emissions intensities would help ease the transition for emissions-intensive trading partners. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs are challenging because they pose legal risks and may be at odds with the differentiated responsibilities of developing countries. Furthermore, BCAs provide only modest incentives for other large emitting countries to scale carbon pricing—an international carbon price floor would be far more effective in this regard.
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.
Mr. Fabien Gonguet, Mr. Claude P Wendling, Ozlem Aydin Sakrak, and Bryn Battersby
Public financial management (PFM) consists of all the government’s institutional arrangements in place to facilitate the implementation of fiscal policies. In response to the growing urgency to fight climate change, “green PFM” aims at adapting existing PFM practices to support climate-sensitive policies. With the cross-cutting nature of climate change and wider environmental concerns, green PFM can be a key enabler of an integrated government strategy to combat climate change. This note outlines a framework for green PFM, emphasizing the need for an approach combining various entry points within, across, and beyond the budget cycle. This includes components such as fiscal transparency and external oversight, and coordination with state-owned enterprises and subnational governments. The note also identifies principles for effective implementation of a green PFM strategy, among which the need for a strong stewardship located within the ministry of finance is paramount.
Countries are increasingly committing to midcentury ‘net-zero’ emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, but limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2°C requires cutting emissions by a quarter to a half in this decade. Making sufficient progress to stabilizing the climate therefore requires ratcheting up near-term mitigation action but doing so among 195 parties simultaneously is proving challenging. Reinforcing the Paris Agreement with an international carbon price floor (ICPF) could jump-start emissions reductions through substantive policy action, while circumventing emerging pressure for border carbon adjustments. The ICPF has two elements: (1) a small number of key large-emitting countries, and (2) the minimum carbon price each commits to implement. The arrangement can be pragmatically designed to accommodate equity considerations and emissions-equivalent alternatives to carbon pricing. The paper discusses the rationale for an ICPF, considers design issues, compares it with alternative global regimes, and quantifies its impacts.