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.
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.
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.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region in the world most vulnerable to climate change despite its cumulatively emitting the least amount of greenhouse gases. Substantial financing is urgently needed across the economy—for governments, businesses, and households—to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, which are critical for advancing resilient and green economic development as well as meeting commitments under the Paris Agreement. Given the immensity of SSA’s other development needs, this financing must be in addition to existing commitments on development finance. There are many potential ways to raise financing to meet adaptation and mitigation needs, spanning from domestic revenue mobilization to various forms of international private financing. Against this backdrop, S SA policymakers and stakeholders are exploring sources of financing for climate action that countries may not have used substantially in the past. This Staff Climate Note presents some basic information on opportunities and challenges associated with these financing instruments.