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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. 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.
Mr. Jon Strand
This paper discusses structure, impact, costs, and efficiency of renewable energy supply in the eight largest advanced economies (the G-7 plus Spain), with focus on Germany. Renewables production costs are compared to benefits, defined as reductions in net carbon emissions; technological innovation, and increased energy security. The latter part of the paper centers on Germany, the main European producer of non-traditional renewables. We question whether the level of subsidies can be justified, relative to other means to increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions. We also find an excessive emphasis on current productive activity, relative to development of new technologies.