The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, with its 17 goals and 169 targets, was a landmark achievement. It seems even more impressive today, when multilateral co-operation is being challenged and when it would have been practically impossible to achieve the necessary consensus.
Our response to the climate challenge will define our collective future for generations to come. We must act. We must act swiftly, collectively, and decisively.
The ocean is our new economic frontier. It is vital for our well-being, for sustainable development and for our planet. The ocean holds great resource wealth and potential for boosting economic growth, employment and innovation.
The OECD has stood with you on the front lines of the global fight against climate change for decades. Indeed, you may recall that the "polluter pays" principle was spearheaded by the OECD back in 1972.
The OECD will draw on its multidisciplinary expertise, data, and tools – along with our ground-breaking work on climate finance, fossil fuel subsidy reform, measuring effective carbon prices, and policy alignment for a low-carbon economy – to deliver timely and evidence-based insights for this project, which has four main objectives.
The hard work starts now. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to cut emissions submitted by 160 countries – even if fully implemented – do not add up to the level of emissions reduction needed to keep the global average temperature rises below 2 degrees. So how can we close this emissions gap?
This is a watershed day for the world and especially heartening for the OECD as one of the first international bodies to call for zero net emissions in the second half of the century, for a price on carbon and for greater efforts to channel finance into the low carbon economy.
At the OECD we are doing everything in our power to help governments drive both growth and environmental sustainability.
Governments have agreed to work together to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Yet, the world is currently on course for a global mean surface temperature increase of around 3-5°C by the end of the century.
In the last decade, the world has made important progress in fighting extreme poverty, but we still have a long way to go. I just came back from New York, where the international community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. Enthusiasm was in abundance, but the debate was pretty sobering.