SHAPING THE IMF’S CLIMATE AGENDA: THE INTERPLAY OF STAFF EXPERTISE, MEMBER STATE PRIORITIES, AND LEADERSHIP INFLUENCES
Johns Hopkins University
This study investigates the factors influencing the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) climate change agenda. The study identifies three key factors influencing the IMF's climate policy: first, the intellectual contributions of IMF staff; second, the influence of member states; and third, the vision and priorities of the Fund's Managing Director. The research employs a diverse dataset comprising IMF staff ideational documents, operational Article IV country reports, and policy documents from member states (specifically the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the United States), as well as analyzing the speeches of the two most recent Managing Directors Christine Lagarde and Kristalina Georgieva. Concept frequency analysis is used to quantify the emphasis on climate-related concepts in IMF documents. The Climate Focus Index (CFI) and Adaptation-Mitigation Index (AMI) are introduced as metrics to assess the IMF's climate agenda. The findings indicate a consistent upward trend in the IMF's focus on climate change across various indicators. This upward trend is driven by factors such as the growing body of climate science, the urgency of the climate crisis, and the IMF leadership's background in environmental economics. The preferred solutions proposed by the IMF lean predominantly towards mitigation strategies, with some variations in documents related to island nations and V20 countries. In conclusion, the study reveals that the IMF's climate agenda is shaped by the intellectual contributions of its staff, the influence of member states, and the vision and priorities of its leadership. While the United States can exert influence as a major shareholder, other factors, including staff expertise and global consensus, also play a significant role in shaping the Fund's climate policies. The research offers several policy recommendations to enhance the IMF's climate response, including increasing representation, fostering knowledge sharing, and addressing the balance between adaptation and mitigation. Implementing these suggestions can lead to a more comprehensive and equitable approach to address the challenges of climate change.
Climate change, adaptation, mitigation, carbon pricing, International Monetary Fund, climate policy, organizational change, climate finance, organizational behavior, international climate diplomacy, IMF climate strategy