The IMF Staff Climate Note Series

The IMF Notes Series aims to quickly disseminate succinct IMF analysis on critical economic issues to member countries and the broader policy community. The IMF Staff Climate Notes provide analysis related to the impact of climate change on macroeconomic and financial stability, including on mitigation, adaptation, and transition. The views expressed in IMF Staff Climate Notes are those of the author(s), although they do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, or its Executive Board, or its management.

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Not Yet on Track to Net Zero: The Urgent Need for Greater Ambition and Policy Action to Achieve Paris Temperature Goals

<img src=October 31, 2021

Achieving the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals requires cutting global CO2 emissions 25 to 50 percent this decade, followed by a rapid transition to net zero emissions. The world is currently not yet on track so there is an urgent need to narrow gaps in climate mitigation ambition and policy. Current mitigation pledges for 2030 would achieve just one to two thirds of the emissions reductions needed for limiting warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. And additional measures equivalent to a global carbon price exceeding $75 per ton by 2030 are needed. This IMF Staff Climate Note presents extensive quantitative analyses to inform dialogue on closing mitigation ambition and policy gaps. It shows illustrative pathways to achieve the needed global emissions reductions while respecting international equity. The Note also presents country-level analyses of the emissions, fiscal, economic, and distributional impacts of carbon pricing and the trade-offs with other instruments—comprehensive mitigation strategies will be key.

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Carbon Pricing: What Role for Border Carbon Adjustments?

SCN-BCA-coverSeptember 27, 2021

This Climate Note discusses the rationale, design, and impacts of border carbon adjustments (BCAs), charges on embodied carbon in imports potentially matched by rebates for embodied carbon in exports. Large disparities in carbon pricing between countries is raising concerns about competitiveness and emissions leakage, and BCAs are a potentially effective instrument for addressing such concerns. Design details are critical, however. For example, limiting coverage of the BCA to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries facilitates administration, and initially benchmarking BCAs on domestic emissions intensities would help ease the transition for emissions-intensive trading partners. It is also important to consider how to apply BCAs across countries with different approaches to emissions mitigation. BCAs are challenging because they pose legal risks and may be at odds with the differentiated responsibilities of developing countries. Furthermore, BCAs provide only modest incentives for other large emitting countries to scale carbon pricing—an international carbon price floor would be far more effective in this regard.

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Strengthening the Climate Information Architecture

SCN3September 08, 2021

Strengthening the climate information architecture is paramount to promote transparency and global comparability of data and thus improve market confidence, safeguard financial stability, and foster sustainable finance. This note provides a conceptual framework around the provision of climate-related information, discusses the progress made to date, and points toward the way forward. Progress and convergence are required on the three buildings blocks of a climate information architecture: (1) high-quality, reliable, and comparable data; (2) a globally harmonized and consistent set of climate disclosure standards; and (3) a globally agreed upon set of principles for climate finance taxonomies. A decisive, globally coordinated effort is needed to move forward on all three fronts.

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Climate-Sensitive Management of Public Finances—"Green PFM”

SCN2August 11, 2021

Public financial management (PFM) consists of all the government’s institutional arrangements in place to facilitate the implementation of fiscal policies. In response to the growing urgency to fight climate change, “green PFM” aims at adapting existing PFM practices to support climate-sensitive policies. With the cross-cutting nature of climate change and wider environmental concerns, green PFM can be a key enabler of an integrated government strategy to combat climate change. This note outlines a framework for green PFM, emphasizing the need for an approach combining various entry points within, across, and beyond the budget cycle. This includes components such as fiscal transparency and external oversight, and coordination with state-owned enterprises and subnational governments. The note also identifies principles for effective implementation of a green PFM strategy, among which the need for a strong stewardship located within the ministry of finance is paramount.

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Proposal for an International Carbon Price Floor Among Large Emitters

SCN1June 18, 2021

Countries are increasingly committing to midcentury ‘net-zero’ emissions targets under the Paris Agreement, but limiting global warming to 1.5 to 2°C requires cutting emissions by a quarter to a half in this decade. Making sufficient progress to stabilizing the climate therefore requires ratcheting up near-term mitigation action but doing so among 195 parties simultaneously is proving challenging. Reinforcing the Paris Agreement with an international carbon price floor (ICPF) could jump-start emissions reductions through substantive policy action, while circumventing emerging pressure for border carbon adjustments. The ICPF has two elements: (1) a small number of key large-emitting countries, and (2) the minimum carbon price each commits to implement. The arrangement can be pragmatically designed to accommodate equity considerations and emissions-equivalent alternatives to carbon pricing. The paper discusses the rationale for an ICPF, considers design issues, compares it with alternative global regimes, and quantifies its impacts.

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