While the costs of implementing an environmental policy are often well known, there is usually an inadequate understanding of the consequences of environmental policy inaction or, in other words, the benefits of policy intervention. For a number of reasons – such as non-linear environmental impacts, aggregation across heterogeneous populations, secondary/ancillary impacts on other environmental factors – it can be extremely difficult to properly assess these consequences. In order to better inform decision making, OECD Environment Ministers requested in April 2004 that the OECD initiate work on the ‘costs of inaction’. A number of background reports have been prepared to that end.
Environment Policy Committee High-Level Special Session on the Costs of Inaction, 14 April 2005
To further investigate this issue, the Environment Policy Committee organised a High-Level Special Session (HLSS) on 14 April 2004 at OECD Headquarters.