Economic policies to foster green growth

NERO/OECD Workshop


"The Economics of Climate Change"

12 March 2008, OECD Headquarters, Room CC12

Chairs ׀ Agenda ׀ Motivation for the workshop


Report on Presentation, Discussion and Conclusions of the Workshop on “the economics of climate change” organised by OECD and the Network of National Economic Research Organisations

Report on Presentation, Discussion and Conclusions of the Workshopby Michael Feiner, Rapporteur



Véronique Deli, Minister for Environmental Affairs, Permanent Delegation of Mexico to the OECD (morning) Joe Grice, Executive Director, Office for National Statistics, UK (afternoon)




9:30  Welcome Address
Lorents Lorentsen, OECD Director, Environment Directorate and Jørgen Elmeskov, OECD Acting Head of the Economics Department
9:45 – 11:15 Projecting future trends in GHG emissions
Each presentation will last 20 minutes. The presentations will be followed by a 30-minute general discussion

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break


11:30 – 12:40 Designing a global climate policy architecture 1: achieving an efficient climate policy

12:40 – 14:45 Lunch


14:45 – 16:00  Designing a global climate policy architecture 2: the role of technology

16:00 – 16:15 Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:45  Designing a global climate policy architecture 3: providing incentives for countries to curb GHG emissions

 17:45 – 18:00  Summing up: what have we learned? (J. Llewellyn, Lehman Brothers)


Motivation for the workshop

The global climate is changing and the causes appear to be largely man-made. The potentially large human and economic costs associated with climate change justify policy action to reduce it. At the same time, such action can be very costly, especially if policies are not well designed. Therefore, an adequate policy response to climate change needs to be built on reliable information regarding:

  • The trends: what are the projected trends in GHG emissions in a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, what would be the impact on climate change, and what would be the economic costs and benefits of the latter? What is the degree of uncertainty surrounding these cost and benefit estimates?
  • The amount of GHG emissions reduction (with respect to a BAU scenario): to what extent should GHG emissions be reduced in order to balance the environmental, economic and equity consequences of action?
  • The instrument(s): what are the optimal policy instruments to achieve a given reduction in GHG emissions? To which extent can an efficient abatement strategy be achieved when different instruments (e.g. taxes, permit trading, regulation, R&D subsidies) coexist both within and across countries?
  • The incentives: what are the incentives for large emitters to implement mitigation policies?

The purpose of the workshop is to confront views and new results from model-based research regarding future GHG emissions trends, the appropriate policy instruments to achieve given targets and the incentives for countries to adopt them.