Notes and Manuals > Staff Climate Notes

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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.
Mr. Matthieu Bellon and Emanuele Massetti
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.
Emanuele Massetti and Mr. Matthieu Bellon
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.