G20 Leaders' Summit: Session on climate and energy


Remarks by Angel Gurría

OECD Secretary-General 

Hamburg, Germany, 7 July 2017

(as prepared for delivery) 



Chancellor, Excellencies,

We are on a collision course with Nature! All but one of the 16 warmest years on record since pre-industrial levels has occurred since 2001, with 2016 the hottest recorded.

While governments are striving to re-ignite growth in a world of low productivity and increasing inequality, they are also faced with the threat of dangerous climate change.

Our recent report “Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth” – commissioned by the German G20 Presidency and delivered to Chancellor Merkel at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue just over a month ago in Berlin – shows that we should and can tackle both of these challenges simultaneously with an integrated approach to climate and growth, while delivering on our Paris commitments.

Our work provides clear evidence that a “decisive transition” towards the target of “well below 2°C” warming is feasible and brings net benefits: a climate-friendly policy package can increase long-run output at least 5%, especially if we factor in the positive impacts of avoiding climate damage.

Acting now is good for growth in the near-term too, with a net growth effect of around 1% for G20 economies by 2021. Conversely, inaction generates even higher transition costs and painful adjustment for our compatriots, our communities and our companies.

Infrastructure is a key driver for the transition. Around USD 6.3 trillion of investment in infrastructure per year is required between 2016 and 2030 to meet development needs globally. The good news is that making these investments climate compatible would only generate marginal additional costs over the same period.

Finally, a successful decisive transition demands to ensure your leadership a whole-of-government approach, while taking into account any negative impacts of climate policy on vulnerable workers and poor households.

Fighting climate change and protecting the environment and the planet can be a source of business, investment, technology and jobs. Thus, there is common ground to work together on this crucial endeavour.



See also

OECD’s Gurría reaffirms need for global cooperation amid progress at G20 Summit

OECD and the G20

OECD work on the environment


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