Cigi Fellow Urges G20 to Lead IMF Rethink on Climate Change Financing

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An innovative G20 interpretation of the rules of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may be required to finance global environmental public goods, according to a new commentary by Barry Carin, a senior fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

An innovative G20 interpretation of the rules of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may be required to finance global environmental public goods, according to a new commentary by Barry Carin, a senior fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

In Financing Climate Change – Untying the Gordian Knot, Carin suggests the G20 promote the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) — an international reserve asset created by the IMF — for financing measures to mitigate climate change or create other global public goods.

“The G20 could lead the way and promote the use of SDRs for financing climate change…and encourage the IMF to do so,” Carin writes. “If the members holding 85 percent of the IMF’s shares agree, then an allocation designated for climate funds could be agreed to be consistent with a long-term global need to supplement existing reserve assets. The G20 themselves account for over 75 percent of the voting shares, and, if agreed amongst themselves, would have little difficulty marshaling the necessary support.”

Carin cites a 2010 IMF staff position note, Financing the Response to Climate Change, suggesting that SDRs could be “invested” as equity stakes in a climate fund, with an arrangement among shareholders to liquidate equity stakes only when needed. The SDRs could then “be deemed to be an exchange of reserve assets without an upfront budgetary cost for the contributors.”

To read Financing Climate Change – Untying the Gordian Knot, visit http://www.cigionline.org/publications/2013/5/financing-climate-change-—-untying-gordian-knot?utm_source=Media+Outlets&utm_medium=News+Release&utm_campaign=Financing+Climate+Change.

About the Author:
Barry Carin is a senior fellow at CIGI and adjunct professor and former associate director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria in the School of Public Administration. From 2006 through 2009, he was editor of the journal Global Governance. Prior to joining CIGI, Barry served as high commissioner of Canada to Singapore and as assistant deputy minister of trade and economic policy in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He was Canadian representative on the executive committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), assistant deputy minister for strategic policy and planning in the Department of Employment and Immigration and was director of effectiveness evaluation in the Treasury Board Secretariat. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University and an honours B.A. in economics and political science from McGill University.

Media Contact:
Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: dkelly(at)cigionline(dot)org

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit http://www.cigionline.org.

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