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Date(s) - April 8, 2022
9:00 am - 10:30 am

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Joint IMF-WB Seminar Series on Climate Macroeconomics

Economics for a Fragile Planet: The Climate Change


Ed BarbierEdward B. Barbier
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Economics, Colorado State University

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In my latest book, Economics for a Fragile Planet, I argue that rising ecological scarcities and global environmental risks require new thinking on markets, institutions, and governance. This can be built around five principles: ending the underpricing of nature, fostering collective action, accepting absolute limits, attaining sustainability, and promoting inclusivity. Arguably the greatest environmental risk we face is climate change. This talk will explain why progress towards greening the post-COVID recovery and the long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will continue to falter unless our economies tackle the key obstacle: underpricing of fossil fuels. The contrasting structural conditions of major economies, such as the G20, will also require a different policy strategy to that of emerging market and developing countries. The latter will need to ensure that a low-carbon transition is compatible with more immediate development goals such as poverty alleviation and inclusivity.


Edward B. Barbier is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics, Colorado State University and a Senior Scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. His main expertise is environmental and resource economics as well as international environmental policy. He has consulted for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations, the World Bank and the OECD. He has authored over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 27 books, and published in popular journals and social media. Barbier is a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and is a highly cited scholar on global environmental and sustainability issues. His latest book is Economics for a Fragile Planet, Cambridge University Press.

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This IMF/WB-sponsored event is part of a seminar series in support of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. For more information about the Coalition, see