After decades of regulation and investment to reduce point source water pollution, OECD countries still face water quality challenges (e.g. eutrophication) from diffuse agricultural and urban sources of pollution, that is disperse pollution from surface runoff, soil filtration and atmospheric deposition. The relative lack of progress reflects the complexities of controlling multiple pollutants from multiple sources, their high spatial and temporal variability, associated transactions costs, and limited political acceptability of regulatory measures. This report outlines the water quality challenges facing OECD countries today, presents a range of policy instruments and innovative case studies of diffuse pollution control, and concludes with an integrated policy framework to tackle diffuse water pollution. An optimal approach will likely entail a mix of policy interventions reflecting the basic OECD principles of water quality management – pollution prevention, treatment at source, the polluter pays and beneficiary pays principles, equity, and policy coherence.
La population néo-zélandaise jouit d’une haute qualité de vie environnementale et peut accéder à des espaces naturels intacts. Le modèle de croissance du pays, largement fondé sur l’exploitation de ressources naturelles, commence toutefois à montrer ses limites écologiques du fait de l’aggravation des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et de la pollution de l’eau, comme le note l’OCDE dans un nouveau rapport.
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New Zealand’s natural environment is part of its cultural identity and a pillar of its economic growth, but it can’t be taken for granted. It is vital to make full use of existing tools to curb environmental pressures.
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Korea's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by significant pollution and consumption of resources. Increased investment has improved access to environmental services, but disparities remain between rural and urban areas. The country has created a strong green growth policy framework. Its future prosperity rests on implementing this ambitious transition to a green, low-carbon economy.
The SACAME project supports the socio-economic analysis of chemicals by allowing a better quantification and monetisation of health- and environmental impacts. This research, funded by the European commission, builds on the OECD's work on quantifying the social costs of environmental externalities, particulary in recent years on the costs of air pollution.
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Since 2000, Estonia’s small, open economy is still highly carbon- and energy‑intensive, due to its dependence on oil shale. The oil shale mining and processing sector still causes considerable damage to the air, soil and water. Estonia is pursuing an ambitious green tax reform, and the environmental goods and services sector is developing fast. However, the country needs to accelerate the transition to a green, low-carbon economy.
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The world’s oceans, seas and marine resources provide invaluable benefits to our economies and to human wellbeing. The OECD works to provide countries with policy insights and data on a plethora of key issues relevant to Sustainable Development Goal 14: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
22 February 2017, OECD, Paris: Participants to this roundtable meeting will discuss the role of development finance institutions in scaling up low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure and leveraging private sector capital.
In this paper, the term multi-purpose water infrastructure (MPWI) encompasses all man-made water systems, including dams, dykes, reservoirs and associated irrigation canals and water supply networks, which may be used for more than one purpose (for economic, social and environmental activities); it also explores the complexity in designing, financing, regulating and managing MPWI projects.
The OECD has a long history of influencing the development of environmental labels. Following the first report on environmental labelling in 1976, extensive reviews of existing and planned schemes were carried out in the 1980s and into the 1990s, contributing to promoting their use and effectiveness.