Scaling up Climate Mitigation Policy in Germany


Simon Black ; Ruo Chen ; Aiko Mineshima ; Victor Mylonas ; Ian W.H. Parry ; Dinar Prihardini

Publication Date:

September 27, 2021

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.


Germany has set national greenhouse emissions targets of a 65 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045, along with various sectoral emissions goals. To achieve these targets, the government has introduced multi-pronged policy measures, including a national emissions trading system (ETS), which complements the ETS at the EU level. This paper shows the substantial variation in the price responsiveness of emissions across sectors and thus prices implied by sectoral targets. It proposes the following measures to help Germany meet emissions targets with greater certainty and cost effectiveness: (i) further strengthening carbon pricing, for example through automatically rising price floors for the national ETS after 2026; (ii) harmonizing carbon pricing to reduce cross-sector differences in marginal abatement costs; and (iii) introducing feebates (revenue neutral taxsubsidy schemes) to reinforce incentives at the sectoral level. The paper also studies the distributional impact of higher carbon pricing and suggests that reducing social security contributions can mitigate the regressive direct impact of higher carbon pricing on lowerincome households. Concerns with carbon leakages and firms’ competitiveness are best addressed through agreeing on an international carbon price floor.


Working Paper No. 2021/241





Publication Date:

September 27, 2021



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