Modeling the U.S. Climate Agenda: Macro-Climate Trade-offs and Considerations

Author/Editor:

Philip Barrett ; Katharina Bergant ; Jean Chateau ; Rui Mano

Publication Date:

December 10, 2021

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

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 run up to the 26th Climate Change Conference has brought tackling climate change to the fore of global policy making. In this context, the U.S. administration has recently unveiled new climate targets. This paper elaborates on the administration’s plans and uses two models developed at the IMF to illustrate key macro-climate trade-offs. First, a model with endogenous fuel-specific technological change shows that subsidies cannot substitute for explicit carbon pricing and that even a moderate carbon tax can greatly economize on the overall fiscal cost of the package. Second, a rich sectoral model shows that there are only very marginal economic costs from front-loading the decarbonization of the power sector but there are large accompanying environmental benefits. Regulations can be effective in the power sector because they provide an appropriate shadow cost to carbon. However, a carbon tax would still be more efficient and easier to administer. Finally, as the economy transitions away from fossil-fueled power generation, there would be a significant reallocation of labor across sectors and locations that would need to be handled carefully to limit the social costs of the transition.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/290

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

December 10, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781557755964/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021290

Pages:

37

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org