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Fight against global warming need not dent growth: IMF

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 3, 2008
The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it was possible to fight global warming without negatively impacting economic growth.

"Climate change is a potentially catastrophic global externality and one of the world's greatest collective action problems," the IMF said in releasing analytical chapters of its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook.

To curb global warming, the IMF suggests a worldwide long-term scheme of gradual increases in carbon prices. Carbon-dioxide emissions are largely blamed for the rise in greenhouse gases that are heating the planet.

Such a framework would "induce the needed shifts in investment and consumption away from emission-intensive products and technologies."

For example, the IMF said, staff estimates showed that mitigation policies introduced in 2013 and aiming to stabilize carbon-dioxide-equivalent concentrations at 550 parts per million by 2100 would entail only a 0.6 percent reduction in the net present value of world consumption by 2040.

"Even with this loss, world GNP (gross national product) would still be 2.3 times higher in 2040 than in 2007," said the 185-nation institution, whose core mission is to maintain global financial stability.

"Over the long term, carbon pricing should help enhance economic growth, as it would create incentives for people and businesses to innovate and shift to using more efficient, low-emissions products and technologies."

For the multilateral policy to be effective, the IMF said that all countries must participate because emerging and developing economies are expected to produce 70 percent of global emissions during the next 50 years.

"Any policy framework that does not include large and fast-growing economies (such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia) ... would be extremely costly and politically untenable," it said.

The chapter, entitled "Climate Change and the Global Economy," was released ahead of next week's WEO world growth forecasts and the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank on April 12-13 in Washington.

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Emission Reduction Assumptions For CO2 Overly Optimistic
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 03, 2008
Reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the coming century will be more challenging than society has been led to believe, according to a research commentary appearing this week in the journal Nature. The authors, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, and McGill University in Montreal, said the technological challenges of reducing CO2 emissions have been significantly underestimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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