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Raising climate finance to support developing country action: some economic considerations

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  • Alex Bowen

Abstract

This article explores the principles that should guide efforts to raise finance for climate action in developing countries. The main conclusions are that, first, there is an important role for private finance, which would be facilitated by having pervasive and broadly uniform emissions pricing around the world. Second, public finance is warranted by a range of market - and policy - failures associated with climate change and its mitigation. Third, raising tax revenues may be preferable to borrowing as a means of raising public finance, although the economics is not clear-cut. Public finance theory advocates taxing 'bads', a number of which have escaped the tax base so far. However, it discourages hypothecation of specific revenue streams to particular uses. Fourth, how much could or should be raised by the many specific proposals for finance for climate action in developing countries is often uncertain. So is how multiple schemes would interact. Several schemes could depress carbon prices. Earmarking is often assumed to be justified despite arguments to the contrary. Fifth, two sets of proposals do particularly well when judged against this analysis: (i) expanding the scale and scope of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and (ii) expanding the use of international financial institutions' balance sheets.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Bowen, 2011. "Raising climate finance to support developing country action: some economic considerations," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 1020-1036, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:11:y:2011:i:3:p:1020-1036
    DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2011.582388
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "An Elaborated Global Climate Policy Architecture: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets for All Countries in All Decades," NBER Working Papers 14876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mustafa Ismihan & F. Gülçin Özkan, 2012. "The Golden Rule of Public Finance: A Panacea?," Ekonomi-tek - International Economics Journal, Turkish Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-20, May.
    4. Victoria Saporta & Kamhon Kan, 1997. "The effects of Stamp Duty on the Level and Volatility of Equity Prices," Bank of England working papers 71, Bank of England.
    5. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "Cost Containment in Climate Change Policy: Alternative Approaches to Mitigating Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 15125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John Williamson, 2009. "Understanding Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)," Policy Briefs PB09-11, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Dean Baker, 2008. "The Benefits of a Financial Transactions Tax," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-35, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    8. Stephan Schulmeister, 2009. "A General Financial Transaction Tax: A Short Cut of the Pros, the Cons and a Proposal," WIFO Working Papers 344, WIFO.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kempa, Karol & Moslener, Ulf, 2015. "Climate policy with the chequebook: Economic considerations on climate investment support," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 219, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    2. Pickering, Jonathan & Skovgaard, Jakob & Kim, Soyeun & Roberts, J. Timmons & Rossati, David & Stadelmann, Martin & Reich, Hendrikje, 2015. "Acting on Climate Finance Pledges: Inter-Agency Dynamics and Relationships with Aid in Contributor States," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 149-162.
    3. Michael Jakob & Jérôme Hilaire, 2015. "Using importers’ windfall savings from oil subsidy reform to enhance international cooperation on climate policies," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 131(4), pages 465-472, August.
    4. Kamleshan Pillay & Jorge E. Viñuales, 2016. "“Monetary” rules for a linked system of offset credits," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(6), pages 933-951, December.
    5. Jonathan Pickering & Paul Mitchell, 2017. "What drives national support for multilateral climate finance? International and domestic influences on Australia’s shifting stance," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 107-125, February.
    6. repec:taf:teepxx:v:5:y:2016:i:3:p:249-264 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tanya O'Garra & Susana Mourato, 2016. "Are we willing to give what it takes? Willingness to pay for climate change adaptation in developing countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 249-264, September.
    8. Sam Fankhauser, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change," GRI Working Papers 255, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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