Mr. Simon Black, Jean Chateau, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Ian W.H. Parry, Gregor Schwerhoff, Sneha D Thube, and Karlygash Zhunussova
To contain global warming to between 2°C and 1.5°C, global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut 25 to 50 percent below 2019 levels by 2030. Even if fully achieved, current country pledges would cut global emissions by just 11 percent. This Note presents illustrative options for closing this ambition gap equitably and discusses their economic impacts across countries. Options exist to accelerate a global just transition in this decade, involving greater emission reductions by high-income countries and climate finance, but further delays in climate action would put 1.5°C beyond reach. Global abatement costs remain low under 2°C-consistent scenarios, with burdens rising with income levels. With efficient policies of carbon pricing with productive revenue use, welfare costs become negative when including domestic environmental co-benefits, before even counting climate benefits. GDP effects from global decarbonization remain uncertain, but modeling suggests they exceed abatement costs especially for carbon-intensive and fossil-fuel-exporting countries. Ratcheting up climate finance can help make global decarbonization efforts more progressive.
Anna Belianska, Nadja Bohme, Kailhao Cai, Yoro Diallo, Saanya Jain, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, and Solo Zerbo
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region in the world most vulnerable to climate change despite its cumulatively emitting the least amount of greenhouse gases. Substantial financing is urgently needed across the economy—for governments, businesses, and households—to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, which are critical for advancing resilient and green economic development as well as meeting commitments under the Paris Agreement. Given the immensity of SSA’s other development needs, this financing must be in addition to existing commitments on development finance. There are many potential ways to raise financing to meet adaptation and mitigation needs, spanning from domestic revenue mobilization to various forms of international private financing. Against this backdrop, S SA policymakers and stakeholders are exploring sources of financing for climate action that countries may not have used substantially in the past. This Staff Climate Note presents some basic information on opportunities and challenges associated with these financing instruments.
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Simon Black, Danielle N Minnett, Mr. Victor Mylonas, and Nate Vernon
Limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2°C above preindustrial levels requires rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This includes methane, which has an outsized impact on temperatures. To date, 125 countries have pledged to cut global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. This Note provides background on methane emission sources, presents practical fiscal policy options to cut emissions, and assesses impacts. Putting a price on methane, ideally through a fee, would reduce emissions efficiently, and can be administratively straightforward for extractives industries and, in some cases, agriculture. Policies could also include revenue-neutral ‘feebates’ that use fees on dirtier polluters to subsidize cleaner producers. A $70 methane fee among large economies would align 2030 emissions with 2oC. Most cuts would be in extractives and abatement costs would be equivalent to just 0.1 percent of GDP. Costs are larger in certain developing countries, implying climate finance could be a key element of a global agreement on a minimum methane price.
Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Alan Xiaochen Feng, and William Oman
Global investment to achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature and adaptation goals requires immediate actions—first and foremost—on climate policies. Policies should be accompanied by commensurate financing flows to close the large financing gap globally, and in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) in particular. This note discusses potential ways to mobilize domestic and foreign private sector capital in climate finance, as a complement to climate-related policies, by mitigating relevant risks and constraints through public-private partnerships involving multilateral, regional, and national development banks. It also overviews the role the IMF can play in the process.
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Simon Black, and Karlygash Zhunussova
Carbon pricing should be a central element of climate mitigation strategies, helping countries transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades. Policymakers considering introducing or scaling up carbon pricing face technical choices between carbon taxes and emissions trading systems (ETSs) and in their design. This includes administration, price levels, relation to other mitigation instruments, use of revenues to address efficiency and distributional objectives, supporting measures to address competitiveness concerns, extension to broader emissions sources, and coordination at the global level. Political economy considerations also affect the choice and design of instruments. This paper discusses such issues in the choice between and design of carbon taxes and ETSs, providing guidance, broader considerations, and quantitative analyses. Overall, carbon taxes have significant practical advantages over ETSs (especially for developing countries) due to ease of administration, price certainty to promote investment, the potential to raise significant revenues, and coverage of broader emissions sources—but ETSs can have significant political economy advantages.
Mr. Tobias Adrian, Pierpaolo Grippa, Mr. Marco Gross, Mr. V. Haksar, Mr. Ivo Krznar, Caterina Lepore, Mr. Fabian Lipinsky, Ms. Hiroko Oura, Sujan Lamichhane, and Mr. Apostolos Panagiotopoulos
Climate change presents risks and opportunities for the real economies and financial sectors of the IMF’s global membership. Understanding the risks is key to prepare for a successful transition to a lower carbon global economy. This will unlock the many opportunities for technological progress and structural transformation along the path that financial sectors around the world will need to adapt to and support. This note lays out the IMF staff’s emerging approach to assessing the impact of climate change on banking sector stability risks conducted in the context of the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The note starts with a primer on climate change risk, both transition and physical, explaining some of the technical terms and concepts used in this work. It explains the approach to standard risk analysis in FSAPs, and how this would be modified in broad terms to incorporate climate risk. The note then discusses different approaches to the analysis of physical versus transition risk, their implications for the macro-economy and across sectors in the real economy and different geographies, and how all these effects map into the banking sector. The note illustrates concepts with examples of applications from recent FSAPs and takes note of the many challenges confronting this work, including data gaps and uncertainty regarding climate projections and long simulation horizons in conducting the climate risk analysis. As such the note is focused on methods that IMF staff are deploying to raise awareness of the risks, and adaptation needs, including need for banks to develop tools to manage climate risks and for financial sector supervisory authorities to adequately supervise this risk.
Mr. Sakai Ando, Mr. Francisco Roch, Ursula Wiriadinata, and Mr. Chenxu Fu
Financial markets will play a catalytic role in financing the adaptation and mitigation to climate change. Catastrophe and green bonds in the private sector have become the most prominent innovations in the field of sustainable finance in the last fifteen years. Yet, the issuances at the sovereign level have been relatively recent and not well documented in the literature. This Note discusses the benefits of issuing these instruments as well as practical implementation challenges impairing the scaling-up of these markets. The issuance of these instruments could provide an additional source of stable financing with more favorable market access conditions, mitigate the stress of climate risks on public finances and facilitate the transition to greener low-carbon economies. Emerging market and developing economies stand to benefit the most from these financial innovations.
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.