The International Monetary Fund said in a report released today that sharply reducing the world’s carbon emissions will cost relatively little economically if a carbon-pricing scheme is adopted soon that includes all the major-emitting countries. The report didn’t endorse one specific pricing mechanism, but said that either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system could work if it gradually increased the price of carbon. “There are significant risks from climate change; damages could be severe,” said IMF economist Natalia Tamirisa. “The costs of mitigation could be moderate provided that policies are well designed.” Meanwhile, at the ongoing United Nations climate conference in Bangkok, the IMF’s partner institution (and fellow predatory lender) the World Bank floated proposals to combat climate change that proved unpopular with developing nations. Instead of funneling cash through the U.N. climate program to aid developing countries, the World Bank suggested it should administer a $10 billion clean-technology fund, and possibly other such funds. Critics of the proposal said the World Bank is too closely controlled by G8 countries and has a shady history of shafting poorer nations.

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