OECD Secretary-General looks beyond Copenhagen

 

23/12/2009 - “Though far from perfect, the Copenhagen Accord is a hard-fought political agreement.  With most countries likely to sign, it is a breakthrough towards collective international action to limit global emissions and help build cleaner, more resilient economies”, said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

 

The Accord’s package of measures, which includes new financing for developing countries, was agreed by leaders of both the largest emitting countries and small vulnerable states.  It was also noted by the fifteenth Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


“We look forward to working with Mexico and the broader international community, ideally to establish a legally-binding agreement for post-2012 action under the UNFCCC by the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) in Mexico City in 2010.  To achieve this agreement, international organisations have a major role to play by informing the discussions and helping negotiating parties reach a common understanding of the issues at stake”.


In the coming year, the OECD will contribute to international efforts by engaging in discussions with governments, advising on the design, and encouraging the implementation of cost-effective policies to adapt to and mitigation efforts climate change.


Countries’ declared emissions reduction targets are not yet enough.  OECD analysis suggests that developed countries would reduce emissions by only 18% in 2020 compared with 1990 levels, still below the 25-40% reduction needed to stay within a 2°C temperature increase.  Developing countries also need to go further. OECD will support efforts to help both developed and developing countries identify where they can step-up reductions, while still growing the economy. 


Given the climate change that is already likely to take place, we will also step-up analysis of how to integrate adaptation to climate change into all aspects of economic development.  Much of the focus will be on ways to assist developing countries to best manage the risks and make their development resilient to the impacts of climate change. 


On the issue of finance, OECD is investigating mechanisms for innovative international finance.  It is looking at ways governments can ensure that their domestic policy frameworks set the right price for carbon and send the right signal to encourage private investment to support a low-carbon society. 

 

For example, recent OECD analysis found that, if the proper mix of policies and instruments to price carbon is put in place to reduce emissions by 20% in developed countries by 2020, this could raise the equivalent of 2.5% of their GDP.  While there will be many competing demands for using these revenues, a fraction of that amount would be enough to supply the public money developed countries agreed to provide in the Copenhagen Accord. 


In addition, OECD is advancing policy options to stimulate innovation, from the early stages of technology development through to diffusion and transfer.  Easy and rapid access to low-carbon technologies and technologies that can support adaptation will be critical to ensuring timely and effective action in developing countries.  OECD is also looking at ways to better inform consumer and industry choices and working with sub-national governments to identify and disseminate good local-level policy practices to reduce emissions. 


Last but not least, to help advance the Accord, OECD will build on existing work to propose ways to measure, report and verify (MRV) timely progress on national emissions reduction targets, mitigation efforts and finance.  This will be critical to ensure the transparent accountability of actions by all countries.

 

For more information visit: www.oecd.org/cop15.

 

Related Documents

 

The Road to Mexico: Strategies and Vehicles for successful climate change negotiations 2010

 

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