Political Science > Environmental Policy

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Katharina Bergant, Rui Mano, and Mr. Ippei Shibata
What are the implications of the needed climate transition for the potential reallocation of the U.S. labor force? This paper dissects green and polluting jobs in the United States across local labor markets, industries and at the household-level. We find that geography alone is not a major impediment, but green jobs tend to be systematically different than those that are either neutral or in carbon-emitting industries. Transitioning out of pollution-intensive jobs into green jobs may thus pose some challenges. However, there is a wage premium for green-intensive jobs which should encourage such transitions. To gain further insights into the impending green transition, this paper also studies the impact of the Clean Air Act. We find that the imposition of the Act caused workers to shift from pollution-intensive to greener industries, but overall employment was not affected.
Mr. Christoph Duenwald, Mr. Yasser Abdih, Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Vahram Stepanyan, Abdullah Al-Hassan, Gareth Anderson, Ms. Anja Baum, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Lamiae Agoumi, Chen Chen, Mehdi Benatiya Andaloussi, Sahra Sakha, Faten Saliba, and Jesus Sanchez
Climate change is among humanity’s greatest challenges, and the Middle East and Central Asia region is on the frontlines of its human, economic, and physical ramifications. Much of the region is located in already difficult climate zones, where global warming exacerbates desertification, water stress, and rising sea levels. This trend entails fundamental economic disruptions, endangers food security, and undermines public health, with ripple effects on poverty and inequality, displacement, and conflict. Considering the risks posed by climate change, the central message of this departmental paper is that adapting to climate change by boosting resilience to climate stresses and disasters is a critical priority for the region’s economies.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Samoa is highly exposed to natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods. These damage economic growth and impact debt sustainability adversely. Increasing frequency and intensity of coastal storms are likely to amplify damage to infrastructure and livelihoods. Slow-moving climate stresses such as sea level rise and increasing heat hazard are also likely to impact potential growth in the main economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.
Mr. Adil Mohommad and Evgenia Pugacheva
This paper inquires into how individual attitudes to climate issues and support for climate policies have evolved in the context of the pandemic. Using data from a unique survey of 14,500 individuals across 16 major economies, this study shows that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic increased concern for climate change and public support for green recovery policies. This suggests that the global health crisis has opened up more space for policy makers in key large economies to implement bolder climate policies. The study also finds that support for climate policies decreases when a person has experienced income and/or job loss during the pandemic. Protecting incomes and livelihoods in the near-term is thus important also from a climate policy perspective.
Jiaxiong Yao and Mr. Yunhui Zhao
To reach the global net-zero goal, the level of carbon emissions has to fall substantially at speed rarely seen in history, highlighting the need to identify structural breaks in carbon emission patterns and understand forces that could bring about such breaks. In this paper, we identify and analyze structural breaks using machine learning methodologies. We find that downward trend shifts in carbon emissions since 1965 are rare, and most trend shifts are associated with non-climate structural factors (such as a change in the economic structure) rather than with climate policies. While we do not explicitly analyze the optimal mix between climate and non-climate policies, our findings highlight the importance of the nonclimate policies in reducing carbon emissions. On the methodology front, our paper contributes to the climate toolbox by identifying country-specific structural breaks in emissions for top 20 emitters based on a user-friendly machine-learning tool and interpreting the results using a decomposition of carbon emission ( Kaya Identity).
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Countries have committed, through the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to pursue climate targets and policies that would limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. A shift toward green public investment will help to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, substantial public investment will be necessary to build public infrastructure that makes economies more resilient to climate change and related natural disasters. Climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges thus compound preexisting needs for public investment to foster the economic recovery from the pandemic and to meet the SDGs in a broader range of areas, often in a context of limited fiscal space. Against this backdrop, a priority for all countries is to manage their public investment efficiently and effectively. To help countries improve the institutions and processes for infrastructure governance (the planning, allocation, and implementation of public investment), the IMF developed in 2015 the Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA), which has already been applied in over 70 countries. However, the current PIMA does not provide a sufficiently tailored assessment of how public investment management can support climate change mitigation and adaptation. To fill this gap, this paper introduces a new module to the to the current Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) framework, the “Climate-PIMA” (C-PIMA), whose goal is to help governments identify potential improvements in public investment institutions and processes to build low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure.
Mr. Dimitri G Demekas and Pierpaolo Grippa
There are demands on central banks and financial regulators to take on new responsibilities for supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. Regulators can indeed facilitate the reorientation of financial flows necessary for the transition. But their powers should not be overestimated. Their diagnostic and policy toolkits are still in their infancy. They cannot (and should not) expand their mandate unilaterally. Taking on these new responsibilities can also have potential pitfalls and unintended consequences. Ultimately, financial regulators cannot deliver a low-carbon economy by themselves and should not risk being caught again in the role of ‘the only game in town.’