International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
“EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The quip, attributed to 19th-century American humorist Mark Twain, might describe the current state of play on climate change. In Twain’s day, it was absurd to suppose humans could do anything about the weather.
This report emphasizes the environmental, fiscal, economic, and administrative case for using carbon taxes, or similar pricing schemes such as emission trading systems, to implement climate mitigation strategies. It provides a quantitative framework for understanding their effects and trade-offs with other instruments and applies it to the largest advanced and emerging economies. Alternative approaches, like “feebates” to impose fees on high polluters and give rebates to cleaner energy users, can play an important role when higher energy prices are difficult politically. At the international level, the report calls for a carbon price floor arrangement among large emitters, designed flexibly to accommodate equity considerations and constraints on national policies. The report estimates the consequences of carbon pricing and redistribution of its revenues for inequality across households. Strategies for enhancing the political acceptability of carbon pricing are discussed, along with supporting measures to promote clean technology investments.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The main macro-financial risks relate to extensive linkages to Mainland China, stretched real estate valuations, and exposure to shifts in global market and domestic risk sentiment, compounded by escalating U.S.-China tensions. Stress tests show that the financial system is resilient to severe macro-financial shocks, but there are pockets of vulnerabilities in foreign bank branches, investment funds, households, and nonfinancial corporates. Hong Kong SAR’s financial sector is also exposed to physical and transition risks from climate change.
The dynamic pattern of foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries shows a three-phase pattern. Despite government policies that promote it, initially the inflow of FDI is sluggish, followed by a period of considerable fluctuation before finally entering the stage of rapid growth. The paper explains the pattern through recourse to two concepts: the searching process of individual investors and the information externalities of investors in the aggregate. Policy implications that may serve to shift an economy of a developing country from small-scale FDI to one of rapidly expanding FDI are considered. As China is a clear example of this pattern, it has been selected to promote understanding of the process.
Hong Kong SAR's economic integration with the Mainland has primarily taken place in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). Taking stock of integration trends, this paper discusses key implications for ensuring economic benefits of further integration are sustained and associated costs minimized. Besides further investments in infrastructure, Hong Kong SAR's role as a producers services and finance hub will depend on frictionless movements of goods, services, people and know-how, requiring policy coordination to further promote trade and investment and developing a common human skills base with the PRD. Regional cooperation will also be needed to minimize the costs of rising levels of cross-border pollution.