Countries are increasingly committing to midcentury ‘net-zero’ emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, but limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2°C requires cutting emissions by a quarter to a half in this decade. Making sufficient progress to stabilizing the climate therefore requires ratcheting up near-term mitigation action but doing so among 195 parties simultaneously is proving challenging. Reinforcing the Paris Agreement with an international carbon price floor (ICPF) could jump-start emissions reductions through substantive policy action, while circumventing emerging pressure for border carbon adjustments. The ICPF has two elements: (1) a small number of key large-emitting countries, and (2) the minimum carbon price each commits to implement. The arrangement can be pragmatically designed to accommodate equity considerations and emissions-equivalent alternatives to carbon pricing. The paper discusses the rationale for an ICPF, considers design issues, compares it with alternative global regimes, and quantifies its impacts.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
While the IMF has been involved in the climate debate since at least 2008, a systematic account of how to integrate climate change into surveillance has been lacking to date. This paper seeks to fill the gap. It argues that domestic policy challenges related to climate change—such as adaptation efforts for climate vulnerable countries, or policies to deliver a country’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris climate accord—are covered by the IMF’s bilateral surveillance mandate and therefore valid topics for Article IV consultations wherever these challenges cross the threshold of macro-criticality. Climate change mitigation is a global policy challenge and therefore falls under multilateral surveillance. The paper proposes a pragmatic approach that focusses especially on the mitigation efforts of the 20 largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
The United States has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, meet sectoral objectives (e.g., for carbon free power, electric vehicles) and encourage greater mitigation among large emitting countries and of international transportation emissions. Fiscal policies at the national, sectoral, and international level could play a critical role in implementing these objectives, along with investment, regulatory, and technology policies. Fiscal instruments are cost-effective, can enhance political acceptability, and do not worsen, or could help alleviate, budgetary pressures. Domestically, a fiscal policy package could contain a mix of economy-wide carbon pricing and revenue-neutral feebates (i.e., tax-subsidy schemes) with the latter reinforcing mitigation in the transport, power, industrial, building, forestry, and agricultural sectors. Internationally, a carbon price floor among large emitters (with flexibility to implement equivalent measures) could effectively scale up global mitigation, while levies/feebates offer a practical approach for reducing maritime and aviation emissions.
Nicoletta Batini, Ian Parry, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Denmark has a highly ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. While there is general agreement that carbon pricing should be the centerpiece of Denmark’s mitigation strategy, pricing needs to be effective, address equity and leakage concerns, and be reinforced by additional measures at the sectoral level. The strategy Denmark develops can be a good prototype for others to follow. This paper discusses mechanisms to scale up domestic carbon pricing, compensate households, and possibly combine pricing with a border carbon adjustment. It also recommends the use of revenue-neutral feebate schemes to strengthen mitigation incentives, particularly for transportation and agriculture, fisheries and forestry, though these schemes could also be applied more widely.
This paper explores three possible transmission channels for transition risk shocks to the financial system in Norway. First, we estimate the direct firm-level impact of a substantial increase in domestic carbon prices under severe assumptions. Second, we map the impact of a drastic increase in global carbon prices on the domestic economy via the Norwegian oil sector. Third, we model the impact of a forced reduction in Norwegian oil firms’ output on shareholder portfolios. Results show that such a sharp increase in carbon prices would have a significant but manageable impact on banks. Finally, the paper discusses ways to advance the still evolving field of transition risk stress testing.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of this century. Mitigation requires a large-scale
transition to a low-carbon economy. This paper provides an overview of the rapidly
growing literature on the role of macroeconomic and financial policy tools in enabling this
transition. The literature provides a menu of policy tools for mitigation. A key conclusion is
that fiscal tools are first in line and central, but can and may need to be complemented by
financial and monetary policy instruments. Some tools and policies raise unanswered
questions about policy tool assignment and mandates, which we describe. The literature is scarce, however, on the most effective policy mix and the role of mitigation tools and goals
in the overall policy framework.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Claudio Baccianti, Mr. Mico Mrkaic, Natalija Novta, Evgenia Pugacheva, and Petia Topalova
We explore the extent to which macroeconomic policies, structural policies, and institutions can mitigate the negative relationship between temperature shocks and output in countries with warm climates. Empirical evidence and simulations of a dynamic general equilibrium model reveal that good policies can help countries cope with negative weather shocks to some extent. However, none of the adaptive policies we consider can fully eliminate the large aggregate output losses that countries with hot climates experience due to rising temperatures. Only curbing greenhouse gas emissions—which would mitigate further global warming—could limit the adverse macroeconomic consequences of weather shocks in a long-lasting way.
Hidetaka Nishizawa, Mr. Scott Roger, and Huan Zhang
Pacific island countries (PICs) are vulnerable severe natural disasters, especially cyclones, inflicting large losses on their economies. In the aftermath of disasters, PIC governments face revenue losses and spending pressures to address post-disaster relief and recovery efforts. This paper estimates the effects of severe natural disasters on fiscal revenues and expenditure in PICs. These are combined with information on the frequency of large disasters to calculate the rate of budgetary savings needed to build appropriate fiscal buffers. Fiscal buffers provide self-insurance against natural disaster shocks and facilitate quick disbursement for recovery and relief efforts, and protection of spending on essential services and infrastructure. The estimates can provide a benchmark for policymakers, and should be adjusted to take into account other sources of financing, as well as budget risks from less severe as well as more frequent disasters.