Political Science > Environmental Policy

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Mr. Simon Black, Danielle N Minnett, Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. James Roaf, and Karlygash Zhunussova
There is growing interest in international coordination over climate mitigation policy. Climate clubs or international carbon price floors could complement the Paris Agreement by helping to deliver the near-term cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions needed to contain global warming to 1.5 to 2oC. To ensure inclusivity, these arrangements need to account for varying mitigation policies across countries, including carbon pricing, fuel taxes, subsidy reform, and non-pricing approaches like regulations. A transparent methodology is needed to compare and monitor mitigation effort by countries implementing diverse policy packages. This paper presents and illustrates a methodology for converting climate mitigation policies and targets into their carbon price equivalents and applies it to the Group of Twenty (G20) countries.
Mr. Serhan Cevik
Global warming is the most significant threat to ecosystems and people’s health and living standards, especially in small island states in the Caribbean and elsewhere. This paper contributes to the debate by analyzing different options to scale up climate change mitigation and adaptation. In particular, the empirical analysis indicates that increasing energy efficiency and reducing the use of fossil fuel in electricity generation could lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions, while investing in physical and financial resilience would yield long-run benefits. From a risk-reward perspective, the advantages of reducing the risks associated with climate change and the health benefits from higher environmental quality clearly outweigh the potential cost of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the short run. The additional revenue generated by environmental taxes could be used to compensate the most vulnerable households, building a multilayered safety net, and strengthening structural resilience.
Manuel Linsenmeier, Mr. Adil Mohommad, and Gregor Schwerhoff
In this paper, we study the international diffusion of carbon pricing policies. In the first part, we empirically examine to what extent the adoption of carbon pricing in a given country can explain the subsequent adoption of the same policy in other countries. In the second part, we quantify the global benefits of policy diffusion in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions elsewhere. To do so, we combine a large international dataset on carbon pricing with several other datasets. For causal identification, we estimate semi-parametric Cox proportional hazard models. We find robust and statistically significant evidence for policy diffusion.
Manuel Linsenmeier, Mr. Adil Mohommad, and Gregor Schwerhoff
Carbon pricing is considered the most efficient policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but it has also been conjectured that other policies need to be implemented first to remove certain economic and political barriers to stringent climate policy. Here, we examine empirical evidence on the the sequence of policy adoption and climate policy portfolios of G20 economies and other major emitters that eventually implemented a national carbon price. We find that all countries adopted carbon pricing late in their instrument sequence after the adoption of (almost) all other instrument types. Furthermore, we find that countries that adopted carbon pricing in a given year had significantly larger climate policy portfolios than those that did not. In the last part of the paper, we examine heterogeneity among countries that eventually adopted a carbon price. We find large variation in the size of policy portfolios of adopters of carbon pricing, with more recent adopters appearing to have introduced carbon pricing with smaller portfolios. Furthermore, countries that adopted carbon pricing with larger policy portfolios tended to implement a higher carbon price. Overall, our results thus suggest that policy sequencing played an important role in climate policy, specifically the adoption of carbon pricing, over the last 20 years.
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.
Mr. Simon Black, Ms. Ruo Chen, Ms. Aiko Mineshima, Victor Mylonas, Ian W.H. Parry, and Dinar Prihardini
Germany has set national greenhouse emissions targets of a 65 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045, along with various sectoral emissions goals. To achieve these targets, the government has introduced multi-pronged policy measures, including a national emissions trading system (ETS), which complements the ETS at the EU level. This paper shows the substantial variation in the price responsiveness of emissions across sectors and thus prices implied by sectoral targets. It proposes the following measures to help Germany meet emissions targets with greater certainty and cost effectiveness: (i) further strengthening carbon pricing, for example through automatically rising price floors for the national ETS after 2026; (ii) harmonizing carbon pricing to reduce cross-sector differences in marginal abatement costs; and (iii) introducing feebates (revenue neutral taxsubsidy schemes) to reinforce incentives at the sectoral level. The paper also studies the distributional impact of higher carbon pricing and suggests that reducing social security contributions can mitigate the regressive direct impact of higher carbon pricing on lowerincome households. Concerns with carbon leakages and firms’ competitiveness are best addressed through agreeing on an international carbon price floor.
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.
Nicoletta Batini, Mr. Simon Black, Ms. Oana Luca, and Ian W.H. Parry
The Netherlands has ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the future - to cut them by 49 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 95 percent by 2050. These targets and the likely new EU-wide targets under the recent EU Green Deal entail a rapid acceleration in decarbonization. This paper discusses the government’s mitigation strategy and advances several recommendations to complement and reinforce that strategy and to achieve better alignement of the effective carbon prices across sectors. The paper discusses alternatives to make the recently-introduced industry carbon levy more effcient and recomends the use of revenue-neutral feebate schemes in industry, transportation, buildings, and agriculture. For power generation, it recommends eliminating taxes on residential and industrial electricity, supplementing the coal phaseout plan with an increase in the CO2 emissions floor price. The impacts of these reforms on consumption would be low and relatively evenly split across the income distribution.