The world’s biggest carbon polluting nations should jointly agree to tax emissions at US$75 per tonne in the next decade to keep climate change at safe levels, the IMF said on Thursday.
The global crisis lender’s call for immediate action confronts a policy dilemma that has left major economies rife with discord in recent years, as they battle to prevent catastrophic warming of the planet.
“Carbon taxes are the most powerful and efficient tools, but only if they are implemented in a fair and growth-friendly way,” IMF researchers said in a blog post.
After violent protests last year, France suspended plans to raise carbon taxes beyond US$50 per tonne. US President Donald Trump has moved to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris Agreement, while some US lawmakers have advanced a “Green New Deal” to invest in de-carbonizing the economy.
The report was released ahead of next week’s annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank at which newly installed IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva is expected to urge member countries to action.
Taxing emissions — raising the cost of carbon-intensive energy for electricity, travel, manufacturing, shipping and food — is the most efficient way to prevent global average temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the goal set in the Paris accord, the IMF research published on Thursday showed.
While the current global average cost is US$2 per tonne, a coordinated increase to US$75 by 2030 among the largest emitters in the G20 economies would be the most likely to succeed.
A common approach would prevent “free-rider” countries from benefiting from reforms made by other nations and allow domestic industries to remain competitive with those in other nations, the report said.
However, IMF researchers acknowledge the daunting and unequal costs this could impose.
Coal prices would more than triple. Electricity would shoot up by more than 30 percent in Canada, and by between 70 and 90 percent in Australia.
Gasoline prices would rise by between 5 and 15 percent in most countries, the report said.
However, environmental benefits would more than offset such costs — by 2030, a US$75 per tonne tax would prevent an estimated 725,000 premature air pollution deaths, mainly in China, the report said.
And consumers and firms eager to keep costs would have an immediate incentive to avoid emissions and invest in cleaner energy.
Tax revenues could be used to make such changes politically acceptable: targeted assistance to poor and vulnerable households, displaced workers and regions hit disproportionately by the transition.
Offsetting cuts to payroll and income taxes, combined with dividends to the public, could make the transition more politically palatable, the report said.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday. The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday. The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years. TSMC is likely to
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price