2/12/15 - The world looks to the Paris Conference of the Parties to deliver a new climate agreement that transforms our development pathway. Success at COP21 can drive and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, healthier and more secure future, locking-in sustainable economic growth and development. A low-carbon, climate resilient world by the end of this century is no longer a hope - it is a necessity.
A transformation of the world’s entire economic system is essential to achieving our common climate change, development, economic, and energy security goals. Our economies are hard-wired to fossil fuels. To overcome this carbon entanglement, countries need to implement strong climate policies, including strengthening carbon pricing and eliminating the approximately USD 600 billion of support to fossil fuels provided each year. As our organisations have jointly argued in Aligning policies for a low carbon economy, governments will also need to diagnose and address the policy misalignments across the economy that impede and make this transition more costly.
Decision-makers gathering in Paris for COP21 must send a decisive signal that it is time to move from pledges to action. We need substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades to limit climate risks and this means countries need to greatly accelerate their current emissions-reduction efforts. We need to increase the resilience of our economies, particularly those in least developed and vulnerable countries.
The submission of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) by more than 170 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change covering adaptation actions and emissions reductions beyond 2020 represents a major step forward, but still falls short of the major course correction required to achieve our collective climate goals, as recent IEA* and OECD** studies show. The INDCs must therefore be viewed as an important base upon which to build ambition, making the agreement and decisions that emerge from COP21 even more important.
As well as a credible long-term goal, the success of COP21 will ultimately be judged by its ability to:
We need an outcome in Paris that is truly commensurate with the enormity of the challenge we face and the opportunities that lie within our grasp. The OECD, IEA, ITF and NEA are committed to supporting member countries and partners in their determination to make this transition and urge governments to make COP21 a success.
* IEA 2015, World Energy Outlook Special Report 2015: Energy and Climate Change
** OECD 2015, Climate Change Mitigation: Policies and Progress
*** See estimate of progress in OECD-CPI 2015, Climate Finance in 2013-14 and the USD 100 billion goal
VIDEO: Why it’s time to act on climate change
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.