Notes and Manuals > Staff Climate Notes

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Diego Mesa Puyo, Augustus J Panton, Tarun Sridhar, Martin Stuermer, Christoph Ungerer, and Alice Tianbo Zhang
The global energy transition is affecting fossil fuel exporters from multiple angles. It is adding to longstanding uncertainties on relative movements of fossil fuel demand and supply—which impact fossil fuel-related exports, fiscal flows, investment and subsequently external and fiscal accounts, economic growth, and employment. While policymakers are very familiar with these challenges, they now also face expectations of a permanent decline in the long-run global demand for fossil fuels. Key factors that could determine country-level impacts include (i) the type of fossil fuel a country exports (ii) extraction costs and (iii) country characteristics. The monitoring and mitigation of fiscal risks will need to be stepped up. Fiscal policy also has a role in reducing domestic emissions, encouraging adoption of low-carbon technologies, and helping those most vulnerable to changes from the transition. Broader macroeconomic risks can be reduced by accelerating ongoing structural reforms that support alternative engines of growth. Low- or zero-carbon emission energy industries could offer new avenues that build on existing fossil fuel knowledge and infrastructure. Concurrently, improved financial regulation and supervision could reduce financial sector exposures. Finally, international coordination on the design and implementation of climate policy as well as international transfer schemes (financing and capacity development) could reduce uncertainties surrounding the transition path and associated adverse economic consequences.
Charlotte Gardes-Landolfini, Pierpaolo Grippa, William Oman, and Sha Yu
The transition to a low-carbon economy, which is needed to mitigate climate change and meet the Paris Agreement temperature goals, has been affected by the supply chain and energy supply disruptions that originated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent energy crisis and exacerbation of geopolitical tensions. These developments, and the broader context of the ongoing “polycrisis,” can affect future decarbonization scenarios. This reflects three main factors: (1) pullbacks in climate mitigation policies and increased carbon lock-in in fossil fuel infrastructure and policymaking; (2) the decreasing likelihood of continuous cost reduction in renewable energy technologies; and (3) the likely intensification of macroeconomic shocks amid increasing geoeconomic fragmentation, and the associated policy responses. In this context, the note assesses the implications of the polycrisis for hypothetical scenarios used to assess climate-related financial risks. Following an analysis of the channels through which these effects are likely to materialize over short- and long-term horizons and some policy implications, the note proposes potential adjustments to the design of the climate scenarios used by financial institutions, central banks, and financial sector supervisors and regulators within their risk management frameworks.
Mr. Simon Black, Ian W.H. Parry, and Karlygash Zhunussova
Urgent and aggressive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions this decade is needed. As countries take stock of the Paris Agreement, this Note provides IMF staff’s annual assessment of global climate mitigation policy. Global ambition needs to be more than quadrupled: emissions cuts of 50 percent below 2019 levels by 2030 are needed for 1.5 degrees Celsius, but current targets would only achieve 11 percent. We provide options for ratcheting-up ambition equitably. Implementation could be accelerated via agreements on minimum carbon prices. Drastic increases in mitigation investment are needed, requiring policies to shift private sector incentives. Climate finance should be scaled-up, with a new goal aligned with needs in developing countries. The development and diffusion of low-carbon technologies should be accelerated collaboratively. Overall, the Paris Agreement is making progress, but a response to the Global Stocktake that prioritizes decisive action this decade is critical.
Laura Jaramillo, Aliona Cebotari, Yoro Diallo, Rhea Gupta, Yugo Koshima, Chandana Kularatne, Jeong Dae Lee, Sidra Rehman, Mr. Kalin I Tintchev, and Fang Yang
Fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS) already face higher temperatures than other countries and will be more exposed to extreme heat and weather events going forward. Using innovative approaches, the paper finds that in FCS, climate vulnerability and underlying fragilities—namely conflict, heavy dependence on rainfed agriculture, and weak capacity—exacerbate each other, amplifying the negative impact on people and economies. FCS suffer more severe and persistent GDP losses than other countries due to climate shocks because their underlying fragilities amplify the impact of shocks, in particular in agriculture. At the same time, climate shocks worsen underlying fragilities, namely conflict. Macro-critical adaptation policies are needed to facilitate the immediate response to climate shocks and to build climate resilience over time. Sizeable and sustained international support—especially grants, concessional financing and capacity development—is urgent to avoid worse outcomes, including forced displacement and migration. The IMF is stepping up support to FCS in dealing with climate challenges through carefully tailored policy advice, financing, and capacity development.
Mr. Simon Black, Jean Chateau, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Ian W.H. Parry, Gregor Schwerhoff, Sneha D Thube, and Karlygash Zhunussova
To contain global warming to between 2°C and 1.5°C, global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut 25 to 50 percent below 2019 levels by 2030. Even if fully achieved, current country pledges would cut global emissions by just 11 percent. This Note presents illustrative options for closing this ambition gap equitably and discusses their economic impacts across countries. Options exist to accelerate a global just transition in this decade, involving greater emission reductions by high-income countries and climate finance, but further delays in climate action would put 1.5°C beyond reach. Global abatement costs remain low under 2°C-consistent scenarios, with burdens rising with income levels. With efficient policies of carbon pricing with productive revenue use, welfare costs become negative when including domestic environmental co-benefits, before even counting climate benefits. GDP effects from global decarbonization remain uncertain, but modeling suggests they exceed abatement costs especially for carbon-intensive and fossil-fuel-exporting countries. Ratcheting up climate finance can help make global decarbonization efforts more progressive.
Anna Belianska, Nadja Bohme, Kailhao Cai, Yoro Diallo, Saanya Jain, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, and Solo Zerbo
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region in the world most vulnerable to climate change despite its cumulatively emitting the least amount of greenhouse gases. Substantial financing is urgently needed across the economy—for governments, businesses, and households—to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, which are critical for advancing resilient and green economic development as well as meeting commitments under the Paris Agreement. Given the immensity of SSA’s other development needs, this financing must be in addition to existing commitments on development finance. There are many potential ways to raise financing to meet adaptation and mitigation needs, spanning from domestic revenue mobilization to various forms of international private financing. Against this backdrop, S SA policymakers and stakeholders are exploring sources of financing for climate action that countries may not have used substantially in the past. This Staff Climate Note presents some basic information on opportunities and challenges associated with these financing instruments.
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Simon Black, Danielle N Minnett, Mr. Victor Mylonas, and Nate Vernon
Limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2°C above preindustrial levels requires rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This includes methane, which has an outsized impact on temperatures. To date, 125 countries have pledged to cut global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. This Note provides background on methane emission sources, presents practical fiscal policy options to cut emissions, and assesses impacts. Putting a price on methane, ideally through a fee, would reduce emissions efficiently, and can be administratively straightforward for extractives industries and, in some cases, agriculture. Policies could also include revenue-neutral ‘feebates’ that use fees on dirtier polluters to subsidize cleaner producers. A $70 methane fee among large economies would align 2030 emissions with 2oC. Most cuts would be in extractives and abatement costs would be equivalent to just 0.1 percent of GDP. Costs are larger in certain developing countries, implying climate finance could be a key element of a global agreement on a minimum methane price.
Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Ms. Elena Loukoianova, Alan Xiaochen Feng, and William Oman
Global investment to achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature and adaptation goals requires immediate actions—first and foremost—on climate policies. Policies should be accompanied by commensurate financing flows to close the large financing gap globally, and in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) in particular. This note discusses potential ways to mobilize domestic and foreign private sector capital in climate finance, as a complement to climate-related policies, by mitigating relevant risks and constraints through public-private partnerships involving multilateral, regional, and national development banks. It also overviews the role the IMF can play in the process.
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Simon Black, and Karlygash Zhunussova
Carbon pricing should be a central element of climate mitigation strategies, helping countries transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades. Policymakers considering introducing or scaling up carbon pricing face technical choices between carbon taxes and emissions trading systems (ETSs) and in their design. This includes administration, price levels, relation to other mitigation instruments, use of revenues to address efficiency and distributional objectives, supporting measures to address competitiveness concerns, extension to broader emissions sources, and coordination at the global level. Political economy considerations also affect the choice and design of instruments. This paper discusses such issues in the choice between and design of carbon taxes and ETSs, providing guidance, broader considerations, and quantitative analyses. Overall, carbon taxes have significant practical advantages over ETSs (especially for developing countries) due to ease of administration, price certainty to promote investment, the potential to raise significant revenues, and coverage of broader emissions sources—but ETSs can have significant political economy advantages.