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Much of the discussion in the environmental world focuses on tipping points—beyond which global warming becomes so great it causes ecosystems and economies to collapse. But former Vice President Al Gore thinks we’re reaching a new kind of tipping point, one where climate change action becomes a priority for governments and businesses.

How should politicians prioritize between robust economic growth and solving the problem of climate change?

A new report reveals an encouraging answer: There’s no need to choose. Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that low-carbon investments—if done right—could cost about the same as conventional infrastructure, but would deliver significantly greater economic, social, and environmental benefits in the long-run.

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.

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.

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

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.

A new WRI working paper, “Monitoring Climate Finance in Developing Countries: Challenges and Next Steps,” draws on a series of three regional workshops in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where representatives from governments and other agencies discussed the challenges in monitoring climate finance flows, and some of the efforts their countries are making to overcome these challenges.


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