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Gordon Hughes

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato said that he finds “some encouraging signs that climate change is a challenge that the world can meet.” In an address to a Club of Rome conference held in Madrid on September 24, he called climate change “the most pressing environmental issue of the day.”

Mr. Kenneth M. Miranda and Mr. Timothy R. Muzondo

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

The war in Ukraine has reinforced the need to accelerate the green transition and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the EU. While Estonia has substantially advanced toward achieving its Green Deal’s commitments, the progress which has been mostly driven by the restructuring of the oil shale industry, could temporarily be jeopardized by energy security constraints. At the same time, progress with GHG reductions in the transport and building sectors has remained modest. The review of Estonia’s comprehensive climate policies reveals room to further incentivize efficiency and promote greener energy sources and sustainability in the transport and building sectors. The analysis shows that the adoption a carbon tax in sectors not covered by the EU-ETS system, supported by appropriate sectoral policies, would help incentivize a greater efficiency in the building and transport sectors and reduce GHG emissions, while generating a net positive welfare effect and a more inclusive growth.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Slovakia has made important strides in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and energy intensity, but significant effort is needed to reach its ambitious climate mitigation objectives. Existing and envisaged policies, such as support of renewable and nuclear energy production, the closure of coal power plants, investments in sustainable transport and building efficiency will contribute to further reductions in emissions but will likely fall short of what is needed to attain carbon neutrality by 2050. To accelerate the green transition, Slovakia could consider introducing carbon taxation. Simulations based on the IMF/World Bank Climate Policy Assessment Tool suggest that a carbon tax scheme could significantly decrease emissions and energy consumption, with adverse growth consequences mitigated by the use of tax revenue for lower labor taxation and efficient transfers to low-income households. The overall net welfare benefits will be positive. The introduction of carbon taxation, however, should be carefully timed, especially in light of the severe disruptions in energy markets triggered by the war in Ukraine, and be gradual, predictable, and complemented with policies to protect vulnerable households, and to address sector-specific obstacles to reducing emissions. This would help mitigate growth and inequality effects and help ensure broad social acceptability.

Andrew Steer

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.