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Mr. Rodolfo Maino and Drilona Emrullahu
Fragile states in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) face challenges to respond to the effects of climate shocks and rising temperatures. Fragility is linked to structural weaknesses, government failure, and lack of institutional basic functions. Against this setup, climate change could add to risks. A panel fixed effects model (1980 to 2019) found that the effect of a 1◦C rise in temperature decreases income per capita growth in fragile states in SSA by 1.8 percentage points. Panel quantile regression models that account for unobserved individual heterogeneity and distributional heterogeneity, corroborate that the effects of higher temperature on income per capita growth are negative while the impact of income per capita growth on carbon emissions growth is heterogeneous, indicating that higher income per capita growth could help reduce carbon emissions growth for high-emitter countries. These findings tend to support the hypothesis behind the Environmental Kuznets Curve and the energy consumption growth literature, which postulates that as income increases, emissions increase pari passu until a threshold level of income where emissions start to decline.
Youssouf Camara, Bjart Holtsmark, and Florian Misch
This paper empirically estimates the effects of electric vehicles (EVs) on passenger car emissions to inform the design of policies that encourage EV purchases in Norway. We use exceptionally rich data on the universe of cars and households from Norway, which has a very high share of EVs, thanks to generous tax incentives and other policies. Our estimates suggest that household-level emission savings from the purchase of additional EVs are limited, resulting in high implicit abatement costs of Norway’s tax incentives relative to emission savings. However, the estimated emission savings are much larger if EVs replace the dirtiest cars. Norway’s experience may also help inform similar policies in other countries as they ramp up their own national climate mitigation strategies.
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.
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.
Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister and Mr. Alex Mourmouras
We present estimates of welfare by country for 2007 and 2014 using the methodology of Jones and Klenow (2016) which incorporates consumption, leisure, mortality and inequality, and we extend the methodology to include environmental externalities. During the period of the global financial crisis welfare grew slightly more rapidly than income per capita, mainly due to improvements in life expectancy. This led to welfare convergence in most regions towards advanced country levels. Introducing environmental effects changes the welfare ranking for countries that rely heavily on natural resources, highlighting the importance of the natural resource base in welfare. This methodology could provide a theoretically consistent and tractable way of monitoring progress in several Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators.
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate. We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.