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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global economy is climbing out from the depths to which it had plummeted during the Great Lockdown in April. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed reopening and some are reinstating partial lockdowns to protect susceptible populations. While recovery in China has been faster than expected, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.

Mr. Jiaqian Chen, Maksym Chepeliev, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Ms. Dora M Iakova, Mr. James Roaf, Ms. Anna Shabunina, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the choice of policies to reach the more ambitious 2030 emission reduction goals currently under consideration. It provides an analysis of the macroeconomic and distributional impacts of different options to scale up the mitigation effort, and proposes enhancements to the existing EU policies. A key finding is that a well-designed package, consisting of more extensive carbon pricing across EU countries and sectors, combined with cuts in distortionary taxes and targeted green investment support, would allow the EU to reach the emission goals with practically no effects on aggregate income. To enhance the social and political acceptance of climate policies, part of the revenue from carbon pricing should be used to compensate the most vulnerable households and to support the transition of workers to greener jobs. A carbon border adjustment mechanism could complement the package to avoid an increase in emissions outside the EU due to higher carbon prices in the EU (“carbon leakage”). From a risk-reward perspective, the benefits of reducing the risk of extreme life-threatening climate events and the health benefits from lower air pollution clearly outweigh the costs of mitigation policies.
Mr. Nicolas Arregui, Ms. Ruo Chen, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Jan-Martin Frie, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Ms. Dora M Iakova, Andreas Jobst, Louise Rabier, Mr. James Roaf, Ms. Anna Shabunina, and Mr. Sebastian Weber
This paper discusses sectoral policies needed to achieve the ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets announced in the European Union’s Green Deal, complementing the companion paper “EU Climate Mitigation Policy”, which focuses on broader EU-level policies. With total emissions nearly a quarter below their 1990 level, the EU has made important progress, but the new goals will require much stronger policy action. Moreover, progress has varied across sectors. Emissions from power and industry have fallen by about a third, buildings by a quarter and agriculture by a fifth – while transport emissions have risen. This paper argues that this divergence reflects differences in effective carbon prices, but also cost differences among the available abatement channels, market imperfections, and policy gaps. It discusses specific sectoral policies needed to address these factors and achieve the new emissions reduction goals.
Ms. Thornton Matheson
This paper provides an overview of global solid waste generation, its environmental costs, and fiscal instruments that can be used to encourage waste reduction and finance proper disposal. Countries—especially island nations--struggle to manage an ever-increasing volume of solid waste, generation of which is projected to exceed 2 billion tons a year by 2025. Although solid waste management is usually relegated to subnational governments, externalities from inadequate management, which include greenhouse gas emissions and ocean plastic pollution, reach global scale. National governments thus play a critical role in creating incentives for waste minimization and ensuring adequate resources for proper waste management. This paper evaluates potential fiscal instruments to achieve these goals, particularly in developing country policy environments.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
Finance & Development, December 2019