This 2010 review of Japan's environmental conditions and policies evaluates progress in reducing the pollution burden, improving natural resource management, integrating environmental and economic policies, and strengthening international co-operation. It includes coverage of policy for greening growth, implementation of environmental policies, climate change, waste management and the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), and nature and biodiversity.
The review finds that since the last review, Japan has made steady progress in addressing a range of environmental issues, notably air and water pollution, and the management of chemicals and waste. The energy intensity of the economy has continued to decrease, particularly in the industrial sector, and is among the lowest in OECD countries. Material intensity has also decreased.
At the same time, several more complex, long-term challenges have come to the fore: climate change, sound waste, materials management, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the last decade was characterised by sluggish economic growth, and environment and green innovation are targeted as key drivers of future growth and job creation in Japan's New Growth Strategy.
Improving the environmental performance of agriculture is a high priority for OECD countries. But measuring and evaluating the impact of agri-environmental policies on the environment can be challenging, as it requires linking economic and biophysical models in country-specific contexts.
The OECD has developed the Stylised Agri-environmental Policy Impact Model (SAPIM), which can be adapted and applied by researchers and policy makers to better understand the impact of policies on the agri-environment conditions in their countries.
This report applies the model to representative farms in Finland, Japan, Switzerland and the United States. These countries include a wide range of objectives, policy measures and agri-environmental conditions. The results highlight that when positive or negative environmental externalities are not taken into account by farmers then the production choices by farmers will reflect private costs and benefits. Policies can potentially raise social welfare by taking account of those externalities.
This report notes that, overall, the diversity of conditions across sectors and countries makes it difficult to generalise the impact of agri-environmental policies beyond the situations that are modeled. Nevertheless, some wider policy messages emerge. Drawing on the four case studies examined, this report recommends that; polluting activites that are not regulated should be included in policy design; the existing overall policy environment needs to be taken into account in evaluating agri-environmental policies; and environmental co-benefits and trade-offs need to be recognised.
Green growth policies can stimulate economic growth while preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable natural resource use. The results from this publication contribute to the Green Growth Strategy being developed by the OECD as a practical policy package for governments to harness the potential of greener growth.
Located on the southern coast of China, Guangdong is the country’s most populous and rich province. It has 95.4 million inhabitants and provides one-eighth of the national GDP. A key development feature of Guangdong has been “processing trade”, which has allowed companies to profit from importing materials, assembling goods and exporting them via Hong Kong, China.
The recent economic crisis has had a strong impact on the province, although Guangdong also faces in-depth structural problems. Growing labour costs and strain on land availability have increasingly challenged the province’s traditional model of development, as have new competitors in China and abroad. Meanwhile, regional disparities within the province have increased, with a high concentration of economic activities and foreign direct investment in the Pearl River Delta area, an agglomeration of nine prefectures of 47.7 million inhabitants that represents 79.4% of the province’s total GDP.
This review assesses Guangdong’s current approach to economic development. The province is focusing on industrial policies primarily aimed at heavy manufacturing industries (e.g. automobile, shipbuilding, petrochemicals) and supported by investment in hard infrastructure transport projects and energy supply, along with the implementation of the “Double Relocation” policies intended to move lower value-added factories to lagging regions through incentive mechanisms like industrial parks.
The review discusses how some principles of the OECD regional paradigm could help Guangdong. It also addresses the huge environmental challenges that the province is facing and explores the opportunity for developing a green growth strategy. Strategies to improve Guangdong’s governance are analysed as well, with particular attention paid to co-ordination issues within the Pearl River Delta.
The Territorial Review of Guangdong is integrated into a series of thematic reviews on regions undertaken by the OECD Territorial Development Policy Committee. The overall aim of these case studies is to draw and disseminate horizontal policy recommendations for regional and national governments.
In the wake of the recent financial and economic crisis, many OECD countries face the challenge of restoring public finances while still supporting growth. This report investigates how tax structures can best be designed to support GDP per capita growth.
The analysis suggests a tax and economic growth ranking order according to which corporate taxes are the most harmful type of tax for economic growth, followed by personal income taxes and then consumption taxes, with recurrent taxes on immovable property being the least harmful tax. Growth-oriented tax reform measures include tax base broadening and a reduction in the top marginal personal income tax rates. Some degree of support for R&D through the tax system may help to increase private spending on innovation.
But implementing pro-growth tax reforms may not be easy. This report identifies those public and political economy tax reform strategies that will allow policy makers to reconcile differing tax policy objectives and overcome obstacles to reform. It stresses that with clear vision, strong leadership and solid tax policy analysis, growth-oriented tax reform can indeed be realised.
The spectacular success of several well-known new ventures in technological fields, which in little more than a decade have jumped from the state of start-ups to that of top international businesses, has pointed to innovation as a key factor in the high growth of firms. These high-growth enterprises often drive job creation and innovation, so policy makers are increasingly making such companies a key focus. Specifically, how can government policy foster the creation of more high-growth enterprises; what are the growth factors, and how can they be leveraged; what are the appropriate ways to provide such support?
To help answer these questions, this report presents findings from two new research studies: (1) reports from 15 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia) that provide interesting insights into the operations of and challenges faced by high-growth enterprises; (2) a policy survey by the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, which reviewed more than 340 programmes that policy makers in 24 countries have put in place to support the growth of enterprises.
Some of this report’s findings may surprise: any firm can be a growth company; growth is almost always a temporary phase; high-growth small firms are funded mostly by debt, not equity. These and many more insights are summarised and analysed, providing policy makers with ideas on how to power growth at the firm level.
In the context of the economic recovery and public budget cuts, policy silos and fragmented short-term policy interventions have become luxuries that our economies can no longer afford. Government intervenes in a myriad of ways at the local level, and rarely are these interventions co-ordinated effectively. Most of us are familiar with policy “silos”. Such divisions are often taken for granted, blamed on historical working relationships (“it has always been like that”) and organisational cultures (“they don’t work like we do”). However these divisions come at a cost. The issues and challenges facing local communities are often complex, and require a holistic approach to be resolved. This book provides concrete advice to policy makers at both national and local levels on how to better align policies, reduce duplication and waste, and “do more with less”. It is based on comparative analysis of 11 countries in Australisia, Europe and North America and combines rankings on where countries stand in terms of the integration of employment, skills and economic development policies, with concrete examples of successful policy integration on the ground.
Many countries will likely face the need to increase tax revenues, as part of fiscal consolidation, during the next few years. But how is this best done? And what are the considerations when choosing between raising tax rates and broadening the tax base by scaling back or abolishing targeted tax provisions (such as allowances, exemptions and preferential rates)? This report aims to answer such questions by taking a close look at the economic and political factors that influence governments’ tax decisions.
Although many countries have broadened their tax bases over the past 30 years, targeted tax provisions, notably tax expenditures, continue to be significant. Like public expenditure, targeted tax reliefs mean that (other) tax rates need to be higher in order to finance these reliefs. This report therefore discusses whether such tax provisions continue to be worthwhile. It includes an annex covering country-specific revenue forgone estimates of tax expenditures for selected OECD countries.
This report also identifies political factors, including the lobbying of influential interest groups, as the main obstacles to base-broadening reforms, and it considers how reforms can be best packaged and presented to overcome such obstacles.
This publication provides comments and illustrations of standards in force regarding the classification, presentation and marking of citrus fruit in international trade under the Scheme for the Application of International Standards for Fruit and Vegetables set up by OECD in 1962. It is a valuable tool for both the Inspection Authorities and professional bodies responsible for the application of standards or interested in trade in citrus fruit. The book includes a USB key with the electronic version of the publication.
Solving the world’s environmental problems could take a significant toll on economic growth if only today’s technologies are available. We know that innovation – the creation and adoption of new cleaner technologies and know-how – provides a means to achieve local and global environmental goals at significantly lower costs. Innovation is also a major driver of economic growth.
OECD governments are increasingly using environmentally related taxes because they are typically one of the most effective policy tools available. Exploring the relationship between environmentally related taxation and innovation is critical to understanding the full impacts of this policy instrument as well as one potential facet of “green growth.” By putting a price on pollution, do environmentally related taxes spur innovation? What types of innovation result? Does the design of the tax play a critical role? What is the effect of this innovation?
In analysing these questions, this report draws on case studies that cover Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Israel and others. It covers a wide set of environmental issues and technologies, as well as the economic and policy contexts. The research methods range from econometric analysis to interviews with business owners and executives. The report also explores the use of environmentally related taxes in OECD countries and outlines considerations for policymakers when implementing these taxes.
Green growth policies can stimulate economic growth while preventing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable natural resource use. The results from this publication will contribute to the Green Growth Strategy being developed by the OECD as a practical policy package for governments to harness the potential of greener growth.
Driving while impaired by drugs – whether licit or illicit – has emerged as an important road safety issue. This report provides a state-of-the-art review of the role and impact of drugs in road accident risk. It reviews the legislation, deterrence and roadside detection practices in member countries as well as preventative measures to combat drug use while driving. It provides recommendations on strategies to adopt in addressing this issue, with a view to contributing to a safe system approach and saving further lives on the roads.