Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

$57 Trillion Additional Climate Debt Calls for Policy Action by G20

While a drastic reduction in carbon emissions is necessary to contain climate change, countries still have not reached a consensus on a fair division of responsibilities in reducing them. While advanced economies were the biggest emitters in the past, emerging economies, such as China and India, account for an increasing share of new emissions. From the standpoint of fiscal policy, these carbon emissions, which adversely affect the world’s well-being, are a negative externality. At present, countries do not bear the full cost of these externalities. The cumulative sum of these liabilities can be viewed as a “climate debt” a country owes to the global community.

An image of a coal power plant in South Africa

Three Ways to Ensure COP-26 Delivers for Poor People

Three ways that COP-26 could deliver for those countries are to properly define what counts as “new and additional” climate finance, make sure carbon markets rather than aid pays for the additional costs of mitigation in poorer developing countries, and agree to exempt the poorest countries from carbon tariffs.

An image of a plant growing with a city skyline in the background.

Don’t Trade Off Climate Mitigation and Development

Future generations are (currently) blameless, our actions leave them in peril, but we can do something about it. All of this is utterly true of climate change, and it is why rich countries (that disproportionately pollute) should take the lead in paying for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

Image of pollution affecting a forest

What Should We Ask from the IMF on Climate Change?

While the world’s decision makers are now rightly focusing on the COVID-19 crisis and its potentially devastating economic aftermath, the climate change agenda has been moved from the center stage. As the world begins to rethink what the post COVID-19 economic order will look like, climate change will again play a key role. And so will the IMF.  

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