Goran Dominioni, Dan Esty, 22 April 2022

The EU and the US are considering proposals for border carbon adjustment mechanisms to curtail the risk of carbon leakage. This column argues that these mechanisms can better mitigate climate change and more likely comply with WTO law when designed to account for effective carbon prices in exporting countries instead of focusing on explicit carbon prices alone. While there are administrative challenges to crediting effective carbon prices, existing trade accounting methods (notably from anti-dumping and countervailing duty subsidy cases) provide ample experience and know-how to overcome these difficulties.

Cecilia Bellora, Lionel Fontagné, 26 March 2022

The proposed European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism seeks to curb carbon leakage, which undermines the EU’s ambitious goal of climate neutrality by 2050. This column explores whether the mechanism succeed in reducing carbon leakage, while at the same time restoring a level playing field for EU producers and minimising the likelihood of WTO panels or retaliation by trading partners. The authors argue that the mechanism will significantly curb European carbon leakages, but at a cost. EU member states will need at the very least to agree on how to end free allowances to be compatible with the WTO.

Kazunari Kainou, 16 March 2022

The Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol is the world’s first international carbon finance scheme. Companies can acquire tradeable certified emission reduction credits by investing in energy conservation and new energy projects in developing countries. Despite its early success, the scheme collapsed following a ‘carbon panic’ in 2012. This column reviews the collapse of the mechanism and its spillovers on Paris Agreement negotiations. While the scheme was unexpectedly revived thanks to interest from the US and developing countries, carbon financing remains structurally prone to panic.

Jun Arima, 26 January 2022

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) concluded ‘successfully’ with the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact. The agreement was the first to target specific energy sources. This column reviews the COP26 landscape and the challenges going forward. Developing countries are expected to continue pressuring industrialised ones to achieve net zero sooner and raise nationally determined contributions. The lack of space for realistic international discussions on energy security may limit the effectiveness of pushing the COP26 standards.

Avinash Persaud, 02 November 2021

To meet the Paris agreement, the world would have to eliminate 53.5 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year for the next 30 years. This column proposes a plan to meet the costs of this in an equitable way. Countries that contribute most to the stock of GHGs could issue an instrument that gives investors in projects anywhere in the world that reduce emissions the right to borrow from them at their overnight interest rates – which are currently near zero – and to roll over this borrowing for as long as the project delivers some minimum rate of reduction in emissions per dollar invested. Luckily, such an instrument already exists in the form of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights.

Alexander Ludwig, 26 October 2021

A new CEPR ebook focuses on climate policies that it calls "no-brainers” and  "low-hanging fruit”. How far do they get us towards net zero and why, if they really are so obvious, are they not being enacted?

Francesco Caselli, Alexander Ludwig, Rick van der Ploeg, 08 October 2021

The target for global warming agreed on in the 2015 Paris Agreement implies that effective policies must be implemented to reduce emissions for the whole planet as soon as possible and reach net zero in the second half of the 21st century. The contributions in a new CEPR eBook aim to identity, for each of the featured nations, which climate change policies will have the fastest and/or largest cumulative impact, and which are the most technically, financially, or politically feasible. Although the low-hanging fruit in climate policy vary across countries, this does not mean that one country cannot learn from the debates taking place in another.

Yener Altunbaş, David Marques-Ibanez, Alessio Reghezza, Costanza Rodriguez d'Acri, Martina Spaggiari, 21 May 2021

The Paris Agreement explicitly recognises the need to “make finance flows compatible with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”. This column looks at the impact of the agreement on bank lending and finds that following the agreement, European banks reallocated credit away from polluting firms. In the aftermath of President Trump’s 2017 announcement of a US withdrawal from the agreement, lending by European banks to polluting firms in the US decreased even further. The findings suggest that the announcement of green policy initiatives can have a significant impact combating climate change via the banking sector. 

Patrick Bolton, Marcin Kacperczyk, 24 March 2021

A company’s carbon-transition risk – associated with curbing carbon emissions within a relatively short period of time – is proportional to the size and growth rate of the company’s carbon emissions. This column asks whether companies with different carbon emissions have different stock returns. The total level of a company’s CO2 emissions and the year-by-year growth in emissions significantly affect its stock returns in most geographic areas of the world. The increasing cost of equity for companies with higher emissions can be a form of carbon pricing by investors seeking compensation for carbon-transition risk.

Torsten Ehlers, Benoit Mojon, Frank Packer, Luiz A. Pereira da Silva, 12 December 2020

Projects financed by green bonds have not always resulted in decreased carbon emissions at the firm level. This column – published on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement – outlines three features of a simple rating system that could both encourage firms to reduce their carbon footprint and provide a useful signal to investors. By focusing on firms’ carbon intensity (emissions relative to revenue), this system would complement existing green bond labels while embracing the features most conducive to decisively lowering carbon emissions.

Richard Samans, 22 September 2019

The world’s climate change strategy and the global trading system are both in need of an infusion of fresh momentum. This column argues that the climate and trade diplomatic communities need each other more than they know, and it is time to bring them together. The best way to reinvigorate both climate and trade diplomacy is to think and act outside the box of the Paris Agreement and conventional free trade agreements and push for low-carbon trade agreements.

Ralph De Haas, 15 June 2018

In the 2015 Paris Agreement, participating countries committed to trying to limit the increase in the global temperature to no more than 2 degrees, requiring a major transition in the way we produce products and services. Ralph de Haas explains his research on how this Green Transition can be financed, and whether certain types of finance - in particular stock vs. credit markets - are better suited to achieving 'greener growth'. This video was recorded at CEPR's Third Annual Spring Symposium.

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