Climate Change

Climate Goals and Debt: A Fiscal Balancing Act

Christine Richmond, Raphael Lam

November 28, 2023

iStock by Getty Images / SeppFriedhuber

In This Episode

Global warming is wreaking havoc on so many levels, but climate action is costly and presents policymakers with difficult tradeoffs. High debt, rising interest rates, and weaker growth prospects make public finances harder to balance and climate goals harder to achieve. This is where fiscal policy and climate mitigation meet and why the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department is trying to help countries manage their limited resources. Economists Christine Richmond and Raphael Lam work on climate policy and the annual publications of the IMF Fiscal Monitor. In this podcast, they say governments now face a policy trilemma between achieving climate goals, fiscal sustainability, and political feasibility. Transcript

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Christine Richmond is a Deputy Division Chief in the Fiscal Affairs Department

Raphael Lam is a Deputy Division Chief in the Fiscal Affairs Department

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Bruce Edwards

International Monetary Fund

Bruce Edwards produces the IMF podcast program. He's an award-winning audio producer and journalist who's covered armed conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters from all corners of the world. He believes economists have an important role in solving the world's problems and aspires to showcase their research in every IMF podcast.