Reconsidering Climate Mitigation Policy in the UK

Author/Editor:

Nicolas Arregui ; Ian Parry

Publication Date:

December 4, 2020

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The UK has pledged to cut greenhouse gases 57 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, to be emisisons neutral by 2050, and to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030. Much progress has been made, but fully achieving these ambitious objectives with the current policy framework will be challenging as it involves multiple and overlapping pricing schemes with significant sectoral differences in carbon prices and may be difficult to scale up on political and administrative grounds. This paper discusses an alternative framework consisting of: (i) a comprehensive carbon price (ideally a tax) rising to at least £60 (US $75) per ton by 2030; and (ii) reinforcing sectoral policies, most importantly feebates for the transport, industrial, and building sectors. This framework could implement mitigation targets, while limiting burdens on households and firms to enhance acceptability, and still raise revenues of 0.8 percent of GDP in 2030. The UK could also leverage its COP26 presidency to promote dialogue on international carbon price floors and pricing of international transport emissions.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2020/268

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

December 4, 2020

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513561264/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2020268

Format:

Paper

Pages:

40

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