OECD Home › Environment › Publications & Documents › Speeches / Presentations
Speeches / Presentations
Faced with unprecedented levels of unemployment, unsustainable fiscal deficits and public debt and weak economic growth, governments need to focus on innovation and pro-green policies as potential new sources of growth, says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Our production and consumption patterns are causing irreversible damage to the earth and its atmosphere and we need to urgently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, according to Angel Gurría. He added that cutting GHG emissions will inevitably involve a restructuring of the economy. Government policies must play a key role not only to enhance the competitive edge of “green” industries, but also to smooth the transition for those that
As Luxembourg plans for economic recovery, it would be a mistake to sideline the environment, said Angel Gurría. “I would rather argue that in responding to the crisis, environment should be part of a comprehensive strategy to relaunch economic growth and to restructure the economy”, he added.
In his opening remarks for the book launch for the Horizontal Water Programme, Mr. Gurría underlined that good water management is important for a stronger, cleaner and fairer economy.
During a workshop on climate change organised by the European Union, Mr Gurría reminded that "far from perfect, the Copenhagen Accord is a hard-fought political agreement". He added that the world now needs to find an ambitious and legally-binding global agreement on climate change in Mexico and that the EU should continue to play a leading role for the negotiations.
Today, the OECD is actively working with governments to highlight the role of cities to deliver cost-effective policy responses to climate change. Cities are centers of innovation and can advance clean energy systems, sustainable transportation and waste management to reduce greenhouse gases.
During a press briefing at the Copenhaguen summit, Angel Gurría shared OECD recent analysis and the main policy conclusions on climate change. He presented what needs to be done in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and how investment in a greener future can be financed without impacting the competitiveness of our economies.
A year ahead of Korea chairing the next G20 Summit, Mr. Gurría described in Seoul the “cocktail” of strategy, policies and framework conditions that will enable economies to harness new sources of economic growth, prevent environmental degradation and enhance the quality of life.
Since the last OECD environmental performance review of Ireland in 2000, environmental policies have been improved, environmental institutions strengthened, and significant investments made in environmentally-related infrastructure. However, important challenges remain, such as strengthening efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a better financial viability of water use, warned the OECD Secretary-General.
As we begin to see signs of economic recovery, policy debates are focusing on what kind of a post-crisis global economy we want. And the answer is “green”, according to the OECD Secretary-General.