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International Monetary Fund
The report and its recommendations should also be careful to not impinge upon areas that are still unfolding, such as the RST, crisis response, and CD provision, to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts and ensure that a coherent and evenhanded framework is in place. I offer qualified and/or partial support to the recommendations, as discussed below, to serve better our SDS members.
Mr. Christoph Duenwald, Mr. Yasser Abdih, Mrs. Kerstin Gerling, Vahram Stepanyan, Abdullah Al-Hassan, Gareth Anderson, Ms. Anja Baum, Mr. Sergejs Saksonovs, Lamiae Agoumi, Chen Chen, Mehdi Benatiya Andaloussi, Sahra Sakha, Faten Saliba, and Jesus Sanchez
Climate change is among humanity’s greatest challenges, and the Middle East and Central Asia region is on the frontlines of its human, economic, and physical ramifications. Much of the region is located in already difficult climate zones, where global warming exacerbates desertification, water stress, and rising sea levels. This trend entails fundamental economic disruptions, endangers food security, and undermines public health, with ripple effects on poverty and inequality, displacement, and conflict. Considering the risks posed by climate change, the central message of this departmental paper is that adapting to climate change by boosting resilience to climate stresses and disasters is a critical priority for the region’s economies.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Samoa is highly exposed to natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods. These damage economic growth and impact debt sustainability adversely. Increasing frequency and intensity of coastal storms are likely to amplify damage to infrastructure and livelihoods. Slow-moving climate stresses such as sea level rise and increasing heat hazard are also likely to impact potential growth in the main economic sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Natural disasters and climate change are existential threats to Grenada, with annual losses from these events estimated at 1.7 percent of GDP. Grenada has proactively pursued resilience-building, with its Climate Change Policy and National Adaptation Plan providing detailed roadmaps for policymakers. However, the challenges are increasing, including from slow-moving effects owing to the rising sea level, even as implementation capacity and resource constraints remain significant impediments. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified those challenges by increasing risks and tightening Grenada’s fiscal space.
Mr. Adil Mohommad and Evgenia Pugacheva
This paper inquires into how individual attitudes to climate issues and support for climate policies have evolved in the context of the pandemic. Using data from a unique survey of 14,500 individuals across 16 major economies, this study shows that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic increased concern for climate change and public support for green recovery policies. This suggests that the global health crisis has opened up more space for policy makers in key large economies to implement bolder climate policies. The study also finds that support for climate policies decreases when a person has experienced income and/or job loss during the pandemic. Protecting incomes and livelihoods in the near-term is thus important also from a climate policy perspective.
Jiaxiong Yao and Mr. Yunhui Zhao
To reach the global net-zero goal, the level of carbon emissions has to fall substantially at speed rarely seen in history, highlighting the need to identify structural breaks in carbon emission patterns and understand forces that could bring about such breaks. In this paper, we identify and analyze structural breaks using machine learning methodologies. We find that downward trend shifts in carbon emissions since 1965 are rare, and most trend shifts are associated with non-climate structural factors (such as a change in the economic structure) rather than with climate policies. While we do not explicitly analyze the optimal mix between climate and non-climate policies, our findings highlight the importance of the nonclimate policies in reducing carbon emissions. On the methodology front, our paper contributes to the climate toolbox by identifying country-specific structural breaks in emissions for top 20 emitters based on a user-friendly machine-learning tool and interpreting the results using a decomposition of carbon emission ( Kaya Identity).
Mr. Dimitri G Demekas and Pierpaolo Grippa
There are demands on central banks and financial regulators to take on new responsibilities for supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. Regulators can indeed facilitate the reorientation of financial flows necessary for the transition. But their powers should not be overestimated. Their diagnostic and policy toolkits are still in their infancy. They cannot (and should not) expand their mandate unilaterally. Taking on these new responsibilities can also have potential pitfalls and unintended consequences. Ultimately, financial regulators cannot deliver a low-carbon economy by themselves and should not risk being caught again in the role of ‘the only game in town.’
Mr. Philip Barrett, Katharina Bergant, Jean Chateau, and Rui Mano
The run up to the 26th Climate Change Conference has brought tackling climate change to the fore of global policy making. In this context, the U.S. administration has recently unveiled new climate targets. This paper elaborates on the administration’s plans and uses two models developed at the IMF to illustrate key macro-climate trade-offs. First, a model with endogenous fuel-specific technological change shows that subsidies cannot substitute for explicit carbon pricing and that even a moderate carbon tax can greatly economize on the overall fiscal cost of the package. Second, a rich sectoral model shows that there are only very marginal economic costs from front-loading the decarbonization of the power sector but there are large accompanying environmental benefits. Regulations can be effective in the power sector because they provide an appropriate shadow cost to carbon. However, a carbon tax would still be more efficient and easier to administer. Finally, as the economy transitions away from fossil-fueled power generation, there would be a significant reallocation of labor across sectors and locations that would need to be handled carefully to limit the social costs of the transition.