Notes and Manuals > Staff Climate Notes

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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. 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.
Ian Parry, Mr. Simon Black, and Mr. James Roaf
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.