IMF urges green goals
The $1 trillion International Monetary Fund (IMF) says almost anything would be worth trying in the effort to address climate change.
The IMF has called on all countries to shift away from fossil fuels.
“Global warming is threatening our planet and living standards around the world, and the window of opportunity for containing climate change to manageable levels is closing rapidly,” a new IMF report says.
“The shift from fossil fuels will not only transform an economy but also profoundly change the lives of households, businesses, and communities.
“Importantly, the shift would generate additional and immediate domestic environmental benefits, such as lower mortality from air pollution.”
The IMF’s main suggestion is for carbon taxes levied on the supply of fossil fuels from oil refineries, coal mines and processing plants.
“[These measures] are the most powerful and efficient, because they allow firms and households to find the lowest-cost ways of reducing energy use and shifting toward cleaner alternatives,” the report said.
If a country cannot manage a carbon tax, the IMF recommends emission permit trading systems.
Failing that, a system of fees and rebates on products or activities with higher emissions, or possibly regulation standards for emission rates and energy efficiency.
“The economic costs of mitigating climate change through less-than-optimal tools would still be lower than the devastating effects of global warming,” the report said.
Australia used to have an emissions trading scheme known as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which saw national emissions decline until it was repealed in 2014.
Since former prime minister Tony Abbott axed the scheme, Australia's overall emissions have increased every year.