Concluding remarks at the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) high-level political dialogue on the priorities for the water sector in the post-2015 development agenda
Climate policy and competitiveness issues have created a new need for international co-ordination, beyond the scope of our current frameworks. There is no need to trade economic growth for environmental stringency. Environmentally stringent policies are an incentive for greater efficiencies which leading edge companies can easily achieve.
By 2050, the world’s population will have risen to 9 billion. By then, the demand for water will have risen by 55% and demand for food by 60%. And on top of this, a world economy that is four times larger than today could be using up to 80% more energy.
Water security is one of the greatest challenges we face today, yet the situation has never looked more perilous. By 2050 the OECD Environmental Outlook projects that nearly 4 billion people will live in river basins under severe water stress, and global nitrogen effluents from wastewater are projected to grow by 180%. Whilst, over the same period, global demand for water is expected to grow by 55%.
This Initiative was created following the OECD’s commitment at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille in 2012 to spearhead robust economic and evidence-based analysis, tailored policy dialogues, and multi-stakeholder consultation in support of better water governance.
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD congratulated the newly elected President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, for taking a bold first step in his economic reform agenda by substantially cutting fuel subsidies.
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.