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The Plain Bad Economics of Today’s Energy Prices

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, recently launched the latest book in a series on what good fiscal policy should look like in a world of environmental externalities.

The message was clear: Ministers of finance and economics should design their tax systems skillfully so as to tax bad things, like pollution and congestion, rather than good things like work and profit. Not to do so is plain, bad economics.

The Price Is Wrong: New Report Calls for Fossil Fuel Prices that Reflect Environmental Costs

A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice, argues that the costs of coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fail to account for these fuels’ environmental and social impacts—such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic deaths.

Setting prices that reflect these side effects—through taxes, licensing, or cap-and-trade systems—could reduce deaths from fossil fuel-related air pollution by 63 percent, decrease global carbon dioxide emissions by 23 percent, and generate revenues totaling about 2.6 percent of global GDP.

Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles

Increasing Access to Renewable Energy

The Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles frame the challenges and common needs faced by large renewable energy buyers.

Nineteen corporate signatories developed these principles to spur progress on resolving the challenges they face when buying renewable energy, and to...

Closing the Renewable Energy Investment Gap

There’s a growing gap between current investment in low-carbon energy and what’s needed to meet world demand while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is there’s sufficient capital and investor interest to close much of this gap.

However, policies that encourage market certainty and level the playing field between different energy sources are needed to attract the volume of investment required, according to a special International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the World Energy Investment Outlook, released this month.

Post-Fukushima Climate Action: How Japan Can Achieve Greater Emissions Reductions

After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan halted all existing nuclear operations and significantly scaled back its 2020 emissions-reduction target. As Japan revises its energy policy over the next few years, officials will decide the future of the country’s energy mix—and its climate action.

New research reveals that Japan can likely go beyond its emissions-reduction target with existing initiatives, but needs to pursue more ambitious action in the long-term to truly overcome the climate change challenge.

GHG Mitigation in Japan

An Overview of the Current Policy Landscape

In 2013, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the government of Japan put forth a revised target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

This paper analyzes this target and finds that Japan can likely meet it by...

Linking Reporting Systems to Improve Greenhouse Gas Management

What do Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have in common? They are among the few countries that are linking their national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data with GHG data from individual industrial facilities.

Inventories are a fundamental tool for countries and facilities to measure and manage their GHG emissions. Establishing these linkages and sharing data between different inventory systems will continue to be critical in improving the quality of inventories, increasing their usefulness, reducing emissions at both the national and facility level, and enhancing their value for decision makers.

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