Blog Posts – CRC

Contents : IMF – A planet at risk · World Bank – Countries can grow in harmony while protecting the planet · – A Planet at Risk Requires Multilateral Action

Krogstrup, S., & Obstfeld, M. (2018, December 3). A planet at risk requires multilateral action. IMF.

The blog post emphasizes the urgent need for multilateral action to address the risks posed by climate change and environmental degradation. It acknowledges the significance of the COP-21 Paris Agreement in limiting greenhouse gas emissions but argues that more comprehensive international cooperation is necessary to protect the planet and the habitats that sustain human life.

The authors highlight the increasing evidence of human activity destabilizing the climate and biosphere, with more intense heat waves, wildfires, storms, and rising greenhouse gas emissions. They also point out other environmental stressors such as shrinking rainforests, retreating polar icecaps, disappearing coral reefs, and declining biodiversity.

Scientists warn that we are approaching key planetary boundaries, and crossing them could have irreversible consequences. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. National Climate Assessment underscore the urgency to act swiftly to avert climate disaster. The article argues that economic activities often ignore their negative impact on the environment, and addressing global environmental externalities requires a range of policies, including regulatory and financial measures.

Multilateralism is deemed essential as environmental externalities transcend national borders. The article cites successful examples of multilateral cooperation in various domains, such as trade liberalization, financial stability, and health. Prior to the Paris Agreement, there were also notable achievements in environmental multilateralism, such as agreements on transboundary air pollution and the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances.

The article suggests exploring “coalitions of the willing” or clubs that mutually benefit participants through stronger environmental actions. It proposes leveraging existing mechanisms of economic multilateralism, such as trade agreements, to enforce environmental laws and promote ambitious greenhouse gas reduction measures. Additionally, initiatives like the FSB Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and the IMF’s expanded work on surveillance and mitigation of environmental damages are seen as potential avenues for addressing environmental challenges.

The blogpost is relevant to my research question in purporting that climate change can only be tackled through international cooperation. The idea that the most effective strategy is ultimately one that all countries agree to is appealing, but a drawback of this approach could be that waiting for action until there is consensus among nations might result in a too little too late result, especially given what is often the snail pace of international diplomacy. – Countries can grow in harmony with protecting the planet

DAMANIA, R., & RUSS, J. (2023, June 27). Countries can grow in harmony with protecting the planet. World Bank Blogs.

The position of the author in this blog-post falls into a similar category to that of Paul Hawking in his book Regeneration by suggesting that better synergy with nature can resolve the climate crisis while simultaneously reducing poverty. without necessarily inventing new technology.

The article discusses the relationship between economic growth and its impact on the planet. It highlights the decline in environmental indicators over the past decades due to population growth and increased consumption, emphasizing the urgent need for more efficient utilization of natural resources.

The World Bank, in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, conducted extensive research and developed models to assess the efficient use of land, water, and air in various countries. The findings indicate that most countries are inefficiently exploiting their natural capital, using resources unsustainably, and failing to maximize the benefits they could provide. This is illustrated using the graphic model displayed from the blog below:

The blog primarily attribute misallocation of natural capital to ill-advised subsidies, insecure property rights, and the lack of pricing for natural resources, which distorts incentives. However, the article highlights the potential for positive change, suggesting that closing these efficiency gaps could tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The report’s modeling shows that countries can significantly benefit from utilizing their natural capital more efficiently. By closing these gaps, countries could nearly double their annual net benefits from land and reach an “efficiency frontier” where economic production and carbon sequestration are optimized without negative environmental impacts.

For instance, the world could sequester an additional 78 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to almost two years’ worth of global emissions, by closing efficiency gaps without compromising economic growth or food production. The study suggests that these goals can be achieved with the right policies and incentives, and it calls for collaboration between governments, businesses, and individuals to make necessary changes. Clearly this is highly relevant to my research question, and it suggests a sort of low hanging fruit for climate action that should be prioritized when considering which actions to employ. That said I am skeptical that merely mining inefficiencies would be so easy, it seems to good to be true. I am interested in pursuing the accompanying report to learn more about the science behind the claim.

Overall, the article emphasizes the importance of maximizing the benefits of natural capital while protecting the planet from environmental destruction, and it calls for concerted efforts to achieve sustainability, efficiency, and prosperity worldwide.

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