World Bank Chief Economist Endorses Carbon Charges at GDN Speech in Kuwait

February 04, 2009

World Bank chief economist Justin Lin endorsed charges for CO2 emissions in a keynote address at the 10th anniversary conference of the Global Development Network being held in Kuwait. Speaking in an ornate marble hall at the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development following an address by Mohammed Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lin said that he recognized that such a call might not be politically correct in the oil-rich state. Nonetheless, Lin, a Chinese national, made it clear that he believes that action is needed to avert very rapid climate change. According to the GDN conference blog.

Lin also called for research into the possibility of insuring poor, oil-consuming countries against price shocks and argued that action was called for to create a price mechanism to prevent a potential climate change “tipping point”.

It remains to be seen whether Lin’s views have implications for the design of the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund. (See David Wheeler and Joel Meister’s recent post for an update on this ongoing controversy, and related CGD policy research and analysis).


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