In 1971, OECD established what is now known as the OECD Environment Policy Committee (EPOC). Through EPOC and its subsidiary bodies, OECD provides a forum for countries to share their experiences and to develop concrete recommendations for the development and implementation of policies that can address environmental problems in an effective and economically efficient way.
While OECD countries have successfully tackled some of the environmental problems they face, many others remain or are emerging. Increasingly the problems that we face are more complex, and will require co-operative action at the international level (e.g. climate change) or co-ordinated packages of policies to tackle their diffuse sources (e.g. biodiversity, agricultural pollution, transport).
OECD supports its Member countries in addressing these problems through the work programme of the Environment Directorate. The work is guided by an OECD Environmental Strategy for the 21st Century adopted by OECD Environment Ministers when they met in May 2001, which contains recommendations for future OECD work to support Member countries as they strive for environmental sustainability.