Policy sequencing to gradually increase the stringency of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has become an influential narrative without much evidence beyond selected policies and sectors or case studies of individual countries. Here we provide international and cross-sectoral evidence on climate policy sequences for the G20 economies and 18 other large emitters. We find that policy sequences towards carbon pricing are a consistent pattern in the data.
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All data are publicly available and were obtained from the following sources: climate policy data, https://climatepolicydatabase.org (CC BY-NC 4.0); data on carbon pricing policies, https://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/ (CC-BY 4.0: https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/public-licenses); data on education from the Human Development Indicators, https://hdr.undp.org/en/data (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO: https://hdr.undp.org/terms-use); data on GDP per capita and control of corruption, https://data.worldbank.org/ (CC-BY 4.0: https://datacatalog.worldbank.org/public-licenses); data on fossil fuel reserves, https://www.eia.gov/ (public domain: https://www.eia.gov/about/copyrights_reuse.php).
A replication package is available at https://github.com/mlinzze/climate-policy-sequences.
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We thank S. S. Aiyar (IMF), A. Alichi (IMF), M. Auffhammer (Berkeley), M. Chin (IMF), S. Dietz (LSE), S. Fankhauser (Oxford), G. Gostlow (LSE), D. Heine (World Bank), F. Jaumotte (IMF), L. Nascimento (NewClimate Institute), M. Pahle (PIK), R. Salgado (IMF), T. da Silva Filho (IMF), P. Sodsriwiboon (IMF), J. Wiegand (IMF) and participants in internal seminars at IMF and LSE for valuable comments and suggestions. M.L. acknowledges financial support by the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council with grant number 2300776. For the purpose of open access, the authors have applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising. All remaining errors are our own. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board or IMF management.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Nature Climate Change thanks Chris Bataille, Jonas Meckling, Toon Vandyck and Michael Pahle for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Extended Data Fig. 2 Length of climate policy sequences at the time of adoption of the first carbon pricing policy.
The histograms show the cumulative percentages of countries that used the given number of instrument types in the corresponding sector before they adopted their first carbon pricing policy.
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Linsenmeier, M., Mohommad, A. & Schwerhoff, G. Policy sequencing towards carbon pricing among the world’s largest emitters. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01538-8