Jan 25, 2022 - Energy & Environment

IMF: Climate emergency poses "grave risks" to global economy

Illustration of the globe with an unhappy face on it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The International Monetary Fund's new update to its world economic outlook says "the ongoing climate emergency continues to pose grave risks to the global economy" and warns that current policies are inadequate.

The big picture: "Much larger coordinated global policies — including carbon price floors —will be needed to meet the new goals laid out at the Glasgow climate conference and stave off catastrophic global climate change," it states.

Why it matters: The document is also the latest of several recent warnings and lines of evidence that nations are not breathing life into the lofty ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the late 2021 United Nations climate summit.

Catch up fast: On Monday U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said "we're in trouble" despite progress at the Glasgow summit, "unprecedented" private-sector efforts and other positive trends.

  • "Not trouble we can't get out of, but we're not on a good track," Kerry said at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about plans for the next U.N. summit in Egypt late this year.

Threat level: Kerry cited last year's growth in global coal consumption and plans for new coal-fired power plants.

  • "That's a problem. There's just no other way to cut it. Coal is the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Nobody has figured out how to make it clean, even though they talk about clean coal," he said.
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