The G20 needs to go structural, social, and green! With fiscal and monetary policy room nearly exhausted, structural reforms are the best choices, sometimes the only choice. The OECD battle cry in this regard has been unchanged since 2008: “go structural!”.
As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approach their expiry date, we must focus our efforts on ensuring a brighter, more inclusive and sustainable future for all. We face a plethora of common issues: growing inequalities; changing consumption patterns and population dynamics; increasing natural resource scarcity; and ongoing illicit financial flows.
"This year and next are critical in the fight against climate change. We now have a unique window of opportunity to improve the tracking of climate finance. We need to be open, ambitious, transparent and collaborative. Together we can gather the data that will enhance accountability and build trust towards a successful global climate deal.", said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the UN Climate Summit.
"Our conversation today comes at a crucial moment. We are all aware of the immense scale of the global challenge presented by climate change. It is no longer simply an environmental issue. It is an economic and a social issue. It is vital to our quality of life and to the life of our fragile Earth! Action is becoming ever-more urgent.", said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
This Global Forum plays an important role as the tool for on-going dialogue on responsible business conduct. I am pleased to announce that today, Ministers from over 20 countries are coming together to discuss how to integrate responsibility considerations throughout government policies. Their work will contribute to protect internationally recognised fundamental rights and to ensure good governance, fair regulations, and transparency.
New data collected by the World Health Organisation shows that outdoor air pollution kills over three and a half million people worldwide every year – far more than was previously estimated. Air pollution has now become the biggest environmental cause of premature death, overtaking poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water, warned OECD Secretary-General at the International Transport Forum Summit.
Twenty years ago climate change was viewed as just an environmental issue. Today it is squarely an economic issue. Climate change poses significant risks to our economic systems that could result in very large damages. To mitigate these risks we need to radically transform our economies and societies to stop global warming.
With the right policy mix and bold decisions, we can turn environmental sustainability into a source of growth, employment and economic resilience. Green can go hand in hand with growth; and the OECD, with your guidance and support, can help our countries to succeed in this urgent economic transformation.
While the recovery process takes hold, we risk that short-term economic pressures shift policy-makers’ attention away from environmental concerns. But we need to continue pushing for green growth and cannot afford to delay our fight against climate change.
Governments need to put together the optimal policy mix to eliminate emissions from fossil fuels in the second half of the century. Cherry-picking a few easy measures will not do the trick. There has to be progress on every front, notably with respect to carbon pricing, and that is what peer review and learning from best practice should help achieve, said OECD Secretary-General.