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Green growth and sustainable development

G20 Leaders’ Summit, 22 November 2020

 

Remarks by Angel Gurría,

Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, France, 22 November 2020

Royal Highness, Excellencies,

Beyond the cost in lives, jobs, the millions of SMEs at risk and whole sectors like tourism at a standstill, the crisis is also likely to generate a massive reallocation shock across sectors and activities.

It brought into the spotlight the vulnerabilities of our economies, our governments and our societies.

It is exacerbating pre-existing inequalities, as illustrated by its impact on female employment and on low-skilled and precarious workers.

The Communiqué agreed at the OECD’s Ministerial Council Meeting last month, under the leadership of President Pedro Sanchez of Spain, laid down a clear path to recovery post-Covid.

The recovery must be ambitious. We need reforms leading to a strong rebound, while continuing to protect our citizens. Central banks and governments should not withdraw their support to the economy prematurely.

The recovery must be inclusive: We must achieve the Brisbane Gender and the Antalya Youth targets and align international finance, both public and private, towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Health and social protection systems should cover and benefit all.

The recovery must be sustainable.Environmentally-harmful public spending, such as fossil fuels subsidies, still outweigh investments with positive environmental outcomes. We still don’t tax 60% of CO2 emissions. Most crisis support to companies was provided with no environmental conditions. We can do better. Our single, most important, intergenerational responsibility is to protect the planet.

The recovery must be cooperative.

This means making vaccines available, accessible, affordable. A true global public good.

This also means reaching an international agreement, by mid-2021, on how to tax the digital economy, based on the OECD blueprint, thus avoiding a proliferation of unilateral measures that would detonate a trade war. The G20 did it before, with Automatic Exchange of Tax Information. 84 Million bank accounts worth 10 trillion euros have already been exchanged. We can do it again, with your leadership.

We congratulate Saudi Arabia for taking a major step towards adhering to the OECD Anti-bribery Convention. I invite those G20 members who have not done so yet, to follow suit.

Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, this is my 13th and last G20 Summit. Let me convey my deepest gratitude to you for having entrusted the OECD with the task of supporting the G20 over more than a decade. We are working hard with Italy for 2021 and we will be in touch with Indonesia for 2022 and India in 2023. As we celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary and the OECD’s 60th anniversary, I leave you with one last recommendation: Go multilateral! It is the best way to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives.

 

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