OECD Climate Change

Mitigating emissions to tackle climate change

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that decisive action is possible when faced with an urgent threat, initially to save lives but subsequently to support and strengthen livelihoods. The pandemic has led to calls for a green and inclusive recovery, ensuring that funding made available for the COVID-19 recovery also supports climate, environmental and broader well-being objectives. Strong action is required to drive the net zero transition and to enhance the resilience of society to climate and other shocks.

Choices made in the next decade will be critical for the international community’s collective ability to achieve its international climate mitigation goal and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. The OECD supports countries with policy guidance and recommendations on how to accelerate climate action at national and sub-national levels but also in different sector contexts.

Carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidies

Carbon pricing and taxation of energy use

The OECD measures carbon prices applicable to CO2-emissions from energy use in 44 OECD and G20 countries, covering around 80% of CO2-emssions from energy use. It also tracks taxes on energy use in those countries and in a selection of developing and emerging economies. 

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Fossil fuel subsidies reform

The production of fossil fuels continues to be supported via tax incentives in many countries across the globe, as well as policies that keep consumer prices artificially low. In order to reduce fossil fuel use and avoid locking in fossil-fuel based capacity, reforms need to be accelerated.

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Carbon markets

Market-based instruments, such as cap-and-trade emission trading schemes, are crucial to price carbon emissions and keep the costs of climate action low. A cap-and-trade scheme enables emitters to trade allowances for the right to emit up to their allowed limit or "cap".

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An integrated approach

Resilient, green and low-carbon cities

Countries, regions and cities must work together to tackle climate change. Cities can provide concrete solutions to addressing climate change, and demonstrate strong leadership in setting bold sustainability and CO2 reduction targets. 

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Climate change and food systems

The OECD identifies policy solutions that can unlock the large mitigation potential of food production, while helping to minimise the economic impacts on the agri-food sectors and consumers.

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Innovation and technology

Embracing new technologies that enable drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be a crucial element to a successful transition. Innovation is increasingly directed towards climate change-related technologies.

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