Mr. Bjoern Rother, Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Mr. Daehaeng Kim, Mr. Lukas P Kohler, Ms. Gaelle Pierre, Naoya Kato, Majdi Debbich, Chiara Castrovillari, Khamza Sharifzoda, Ms. Elizabeth Van Heuvelen, Fabiana Machado, Celine Thevenot, Ms. Pritha Mitra, and Dominique Fayad
Russia’s war in Ukraine has exacerbated food insecurity that had already been on the rise for half a decade. Low-income countries are affected the most. This note suggests that the food and fertilizer price shock would add $9 billion in 2022 and 2023 to the import bills of the 48 most affected countries. The budgetary cost of protecting vulnerable households in these countries amounts to $5–7 billion. Strong and timely action on a global scale is needed to support vulnerable households through international humanitarian assistance and domestic fiscal measures; to maintain open trade; to enhance food production and distribution; and to invest in climate-resilient agriculture. The IMF has been stepping up its engagement to help tackle the global food crisis, working closely with partners, by providing policy advice, capacity building and financing. IMF financing is a third line of defense in meeting external financing needs associated with the global food shock, which should ideally be covered by donor grants and concessional borrowing from MDBs. A new food shock window under the emergency financing instruments is expected to be approved soon to further strengthen its lending response to the food crisis.
This paper investigates the connection between climate change and energy security in Europe and provides empirical evidence that these issues are the two faces of the same coin. Using a panel of 39 countries in Europe over the period 1980–2019, the empirical analysis presented in this paper indicates that increasing the share of nuclear, renewables, and other non-hydrocarbon energy and improving energy efficiency could lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and improve energy security throughout Europe. Accordingly, policies and reforms aimed at shifting away from hydrocarbons and increasing energy efficiency in distribution and consumption are key to mitigating climate change, reducing energy dependence, and minimizing exposure to energy price volatility.
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.
The war in Ukraine has reinforced the need to accelerate the green transition and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the EU. While Estonia has substantially advanced toward achieving its Green Deal’s commitments, the progress which has been mostly driven by the restructuring of the oil shale industry, could temporarily be jeopardized by energy security constraints. At the same time, progress with GHG reductions in the transport and building sectors has remained modest. The review of Estonia’s comprehensive climate policies reveals room to further incentivize efficiency and promote greener energy sources and sustainability in the transport and building sectors. The analysis shows that the adoption a carbon tax in sectors not covered by the EU-ETS system, supported by appropriate sectoral policies, would help incentivize a greater efficiency in the building and transport sectors and reduce GHG emissions, while generating a net positive welfare effect and a more inclusive growth.
The surge in fossil fuel prices in 2022 has generated substantial windfall profits in the energy sector. Policymakers in many countries are exploring policies to tax part of these profits. Excess profits can be taxed by tax instruments targeted at economic rents that avoid discouraging investment and limit any impact on further price increases. Many fossil fuel producing countries already have an adequate rent-capturing fiscal instrument in place. Others may consider introducing a permanent tax on windfall profits from fossil fuel extraction but should be more cautious about temporary and possibly poorly designed windfall profit taxes. Given the importance of encouraging decarbonatization of energy generation, it seems counter-intuitive to introduce exceptional tax measures on renewable electricity generation.