An important activity of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in the field of radioactive waste management is the organisation of independent, international peer reviews of national studies and projects. This report provides an international peer review of the long-term safety strategy and assessment being developed by the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials, ONDRAF/NIRAS, as part of the licence application for the construction and operation of a surface disposal facility for short-lived, low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in the municipality of Dessel, Belgium. The review was carried out by an International Review Team comprised of seven international specialists, all of whom were free of conflict of interest and chosen to bring complementary expertise to the review. To be accessible to both specialist and non-specialist readers, the review findings are provided at several levels of detail.
This report on the recent Australian experience with activation policies contains valuable lessons for other countries that need to improve the effectiveness of employment services and control benefit expenditure. It provides overview and assessment of labour market policies in Australia including the main institutions, benefit system, training programmes, employment incentives, and disability employment assistance.
Australia is unique among OECD countries in that its mainstream employment services are all delivered by over 100 for-profit and non-profit providers competing in a “quasi-market”, with their operations financed by service fees, employment outcome payments, and a special fund for measures that tackle jobseekers’ barriers to employment. In most other OECD countries, these services are delivered by the Public Employment Service. In the mid 2000s, several benefits previously paid without a job-search requirement were closed or reformed, bringing more people into the effective labour force.
Australia now has one of the highest employment rates in the OECD and this report concludes that its activation system deserves some of the credit for this relatively good performance. The Job Services Australia model, introduced in 2009, reinforced the focus on employment outcomes for highly-disadvantaged groups. This report assesses the latest model for activation and puts forward some recommendations to improve its effectiveness.
This publication highlights the importance of promoting growth in all types of OECD regions, particularly in underdeveloped ones. Helping underdeveloped regions to catch up will have a positive impact on a country’s national growth; in some cases more so than in already well-developed regions. Furthermore such growth helps to build a fairer society, in which no territories and their people are left behind. An important question is whether this potential to catch up is possible? The evidence suggests that this IS the case. Examinations of patterns of growth reveal that underdeveloped rural and intermediate regions tend to grow faster. Their catching-up potentially largely depends on human capital development, infrastructure and innovation-related activities but also on institutional factors and policies. This publication is based on anlaysis among all OECD regions and 23 case study regions from ten OECD countries over the period 1995-2007.
This report highlights the issues faced by local areas against the backdrop of policies or planning models that have directed local development in the past decades (e.g. introduction of new industries such as information technology/bio-technology following the de-industrialisation of mining/manufacturing industries) but today appear less suitable than expected to ensure the sustainability of local development.
This report is timely in discussing cases from 20 countries around the world and particularly signalling local strategies and initiatives for policy consideration and learning. The report considers together issues at the crossroads of modern local development in the context of demographic change: population mobility and urban shrinkage, regeneration strategies to stimulate sustainable growth, and social dynamics underpinning community stability.
Korea, the world’s thirteenth-largest economy and the seventh-largest exporter, is an energy-intensive nation. In 2008, the country adopted a long-term “green growth” strategy to foster economic development by means of low-carbon technologies and clean energy; since then, the government has implemented many policies to support these goals.
In 2012, Korea announced an emissions-trading scheme -- the first of its kind in Asia -- which will be implemented in 2015. This represents a major step towards achieving its target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Strong energy efficiency policies have been developed to complement the emissions-reduction target. Korea has made efforts to enhance energy security by taking measures to diversify energy sources, reduce the use of fossil fuels and foster the development of renewable energy alongside the expansion of its nuclear energy programme. Government expenditure on energy-related RD&D is among the highest in the OECD.
Progress in some sectors has been slower, and the lack of a clear, long-term vision for its electricity and natural gas markets is one of the greatest energy-policy challenges facing the Korean government. Energy markets are dominated by incumbents and have been slow to open up to competition.
This review analyses the energy-policy challenges facing Korea and provides sector-based assessments and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
This report addresses multilevel governance challenges in water policy in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) and identifies good practices for co-ordinating water across ministries, between levels of government, and across local and regional actors. Based on the OECD Multilevel Governance Framework and a survey on water governance, the report i) maps the allocation of roles and responsibilities in 13 LAC countries’ water policy at central government and sub-national level; ii) identifies the main coordination “gaps” in terms of territorial and institutional fragmentation, funding mismatch, information asymmetry, accountability, objectives and capacity, and iii) provides a range of mechanisms to improve water governance at all levels and foster capacity-building.
The energy sector is a significant contributor to the Australian economy. Exports have more than tripled over the past decade and surging economic and social expansion in relatively nearby emerging economies such as China and India has driven significant demand for Australian energy and mineral resources. This boom is widely forecast to continue in the coming decades.
Late in 2011, the Australian government released a draft energy white paper, which sets out a comprehensive strategic policy framework to guide the development of the energy sector. Also in 2011, the Australian government announced a climate change plan including a wide-ranging package of clean-energy proposals and the introduction of a carbon price mechanism accompanied by significant levels of financial support for innovation in clean-energy technologies.
The scale of Australia’s energy policy ambitions is enormous and very costly even for a resource-rich nation. Significant investments will be needed for the clean-energy transition and building the infrastructure necessary to expand the domestic resource base. This review analyses the energy-policy challenges facing Australia and provides critiques and recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
Austerity drives are leading governments to reduce operational cuts through the wage bill and staffing levels. A big lesson from past experience suggests that when pay cuts and freezes are necessary, it is essential to assess the savings relative to the costs – the loss of institutional knowledge if key contributors retire or resign, the time lost by managers and employees who have to deal with the issues related to vacancies and reorganizations, the lost productivity while people acquire new skills and learn new jobs, and the falloff in performance among employees who become discouraged or unsatisfied. This assessment does not appear to have taken place in the current crisis.
This report argues that any new approaches to public sector pay must help to: enhance external competitiveness of salaries; promote internal equity throughout the public sector; reflect the values of public organisations; and align compensation with government’s core strategic objectives. It calls for a recognition of the supply and demand for specific expertise.
Hydropower could double its contribution by 2050, reaching 2 000 GW of global capacity and over 7 000 TWh. This achievement, driven primarily by the quest of clean electricity, could prevent annual emissions of up to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 from fossil-fuel plants. The bulk of this growth would come from large plants in emerging economies and developing countries.
Hydroelectricity’s many advantages include reliability, proven technology, large storage capacity, and very low operating and maintenance costs. Hydropower is highly flexible, a precious asset for electricity network operators, especially given rapid expansion of variable generation from other renewable energy technologies such as wind power and photovoltaics. Many hydropower plants also provide flood control, irrigation, navigation and freshwater supply.
The technology roadmap for Hydropower details action needed from policy makers to allow hydroelectric production to double, and addresses necessary conditions, including resolving environmental issues and gaining public acceptance.