Focus on green recovery

Latest highlights

Stepping up green recovery actions

Speed the transition to a low-emissions economy

30/09/2020

Biodiversity underpins health and livelihoods

Green sectors offer prospects for job creation

Green sectors offer prospects for job creation

Sustainable infrastructure helps reduce emissions

Sustainable infrastructure helps reduce emissions

Leverage finance to invest in the green recovery

Track progress through pertinent, comparable and timely data

Understanding the link between COVID-19 and environmental health

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30/11/2020
Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020 provides a comprehensive assessment of how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing towards stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economies and societies. The publication provides a unique comparative picture in a number of aspects connected to economic development, health, well-being and net zero-carbon transition across regions and cities in OECD and selected non-OECD countries. In the light of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report analyses outcomes and drivers of social, economic and environmental resilience.This edition provides several new features. First, an extended set of health-related indicators, including excess mortality, morbidity rates, and air quality. Second, novel indicators on the potential of regions and cities to remote working, as well as on trade openness and access to digital infrastructure enrich the economic chapter. Third, the report offers a number of new climate-and environment-related indicators, including on sustainable electricity production and related carbon emissions. The report shows population trends in over nine thousands cities and metropolitan areas across the entire world. Finally, the last chapter presents new indicators on spending and revenues capacity of regional governments in OECD countries.
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18/11/2020
This report offers guidance on how to prepare regions and cities for the transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy by 2050 and is directed to all policymakers seeking to identify and implement concrete and ambitious transition pathways. It describes how cities, regions, and rural areas can manage the transition in a range of policy domains, including energy supply, conversion, and use, the transformation of mobility systems, and land use practices. It takes stock of discussions between academic and policy experts emanating from a series of high-level expert workshops organised in 2019 by the OECD and the European Commission. Bringing together frontier thinking and practical examples regarding the transition to a climate-neutral economy, the transition to a circular economy, the transition in cities, the transition in rural areas, and financing and scale-up of transition action, this report identifies cross-cutting lessons to support urban, regional, and rural decision makers in managing trade-offs and in promoting, facilitating and enabling environmental and energy transitions.
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26/10/2020
Many governments are increasingly recognising the need to ensure that trade and investment agreements reflect environmental concerns to help achieve overarching environmental goals and to increase their public acceptability. In particular, investment liberalisation and protection, as well as environmental sustainability are essential elements to consider in these agreements to foster economic integration and require coherent policy approaches.In this context, this report investigates possible approaches that can help ensure policy coherence between investment and environment related provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs). As investment related articles appear not only in RTAs but more broadly in bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and in other international investment agreements (IIAs), the work extends to trade and investment agreements that encompass RTAs, BITs and other IIAs. The report highlights available practices to ensure that investment related provisions reaffirm the domestic environmental policy space.
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09/10/2020
Recovery from the social and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will require concerted policy action. As countries consider recovery packages, there are opportunities to prioritise green policy choices that help promote environmental objectives and speed up structural change towards the low-carbon transition, increasing society’s resilience to future shocks and reducing future risks. This policy brief focuses on practical ways in which countries can use green budgeting and tax policy tools to implement stimulus packages that support a green recovery, and the inter-linked role of both tax and spend measures in aligning stimulus programmes with decarbonisation objectives.
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07/10/2020
This paper sets out a new framing of the challenges and opportunities for scaling up financing and investment for a sustainable ocean economy. It examines the particular challenges associated with financing sustainable ocean activities across different sectors and explores promising financing instruments, including by identifying learnings from elsewhere in the green finance sphere.This paper contributes to the OECD horizontal ocean project. To support government efforts to transition to a more sustainable ocean economy, the OECD is mobilising expertise across multiple policy fronts, covering environmental, economic, financial and social dimensions. Working with both developed and developing countries, the OECD aims to ensure that all societies can harness the benefits of the ocean on a sustainable and inclusive basis.
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06/10/2020
A number of countries have created official definitions of sustainable finance as well as more comprehensive classification systems, referred to as sustainable finance taxonomies. This report maps sustainable finance definitions and taxonomies in five jurisdictions: the European Union, People’s Republic of China, Japan, France and the Netherlands. Taxonomies answer a need for greater certainty on the environmental sustainability of different types of investments. When appropriately designed, they can improve market clarity, bring confidence and assurance to investors, and facilitate the measurement and tracking of sustainable finance flows. The report lays out preliminary considerations for good design of taxonomies, which can support policy makers to develop and grow sustainable finance markets to help achieve environmental and sustainable development goals. It also identifies differences among the taxonomies in scope as well as commonalities. These commonalities could provide a basis for creating comparable frameworks that facilitate international investment while also reflecting differing national circumstances.
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06/10/2020
Building green is not only imperative to achieve global climate and development commitments in this “decade for delivery”, but will also be critical to sustain socio-economic development during the COVID-19 recovery. Private investment in particular is needed to bridge the infrastructure investment gap, given institutional investors’ large pools of long-term capital. After several years of efforts to upscale institutional investment in infrastructure, where does the level of investment stand today? This report provides a first-of-its-kind empirical assessment of investment in infrastructure by institutional investors domiciled in OECD and G20 countries, presenting a snapshot from February 2020. Based on a new detailed view of investment channels, financial instruments, sectoral allocations, regional preferences and trends, the report provides guidance on policy levers and priorities to scale-up institutional investment in green infrastructure.
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06/10/2020
This Policy Brief focuses on how countries can create opportunities for a green and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. A green recovery will significantly enhance the resilience of economies and societies in the face of both the severe recession and accelerating environmental challenges. The Brief also undertakes a preliminary review of announced recovery and stimulus policies in OECD and Key Partner countries. While many countries are focusing on measures that can drive sustainability while boosting jobs, income and growth, a number of countries are proposing measures that support environmentally damaging activities. Measuring and evaluating the environmental impacts of recovery policies over time is crucial, and a set of indicators, covering a broad array of critical environmental dimensions, is proposed for this purpose.
30/09/2020
The double blow of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the oil price shock is hitting oil-exporting developing countries particularly hard, at a time when the fossil fuel industry is facing a process of structural decline. Although some countries might weather the current crisis on the back of sovereign wealth funds or relatively low public debt levels, this will not be the case for the majority of fragile oil-exporting countries, many of which are resource dependent and were already grappling with high levels of debt and multifaceted economic and social fragility before the present crisis. Oil-exporting developing countries have experienced an increased reliance on short-term and expensive non-concessional private borrowing in recent years, a significant proportion of which is backed by oil collateral. Some countries may find themselves entering a spiral of unsustainable borrowing on the back of the current turmoil. A timely and coherent response is needed, encompassing both concessional lenders and private financiers, to create fiscal space, reduce the risks of unsustainable debt, corruption and illicit financial flows, and catalyse a transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future
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29/09/2020
The OECD Business and Finance Outlook is an annual publication that presents unique data and analysis on the trends, both positive and negative, that are shaping tomorrow’s world of business, finance and investment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted an urgent need to consider resilience in finance, both in the financial system itself and in the role played by capital and investors in making economic and social systems more dynamic and able to withstand external shocks. Using analysis from a wide range of perspectives, this year’s edition focuses on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that are rapidly becoming a part of mainstream finance. It evaluates current ESG practices, and identifies priorities and actions to better align investments with sustainable, long-term value – in particular, the need for more consistent, comparable and available data on ESG performance.
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28/09/2020
This Policy Brief focuses on the vital role of biodiversity for human life and the importance of integrating biodiversity considerations into the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The Brief first outlines how biodiversity loss is a key driver of emerging infectious diseases and poses a variety of other growing risks to businesses, society and the global economy. Investing in the conservation, sustainable use and restoration of biodiversity can help to address these risks, while providing jobs, business opportunities and other benefits to society. The Brief then examines how governments are factoring biodiversity into their stimulus measures and recovery plans in practice, highlighting both concerning trends and best practices. The Brief concludes with policy recommendations on how governments can better integrate biodiversity into their COVID-19 stimulus measures and broader recovery efforts.
08/09/2020
Adopting more sustainable ways of managing the ocean is a global priority: protecting its health will bring benefits to all. Developing countries face specific challenges, as many depend heavily on ocean-based industries and are overly exposed to the consequences of ocean degradation. Enhancing their access to science, policy advice and financing would allow them to tap better into the opportunities of a more sustainable ocean economy, including more decent jobs, cleaner energy, improved food security and enhanced resilience, while contributing to the protection of the world’s ocean.This report provides policy makers in developing countries, as well as their development co-operation partners with a wealth of fresh evidence on (i) the latest trends in selected ocean-based industries; (ii) policy instruments, including economic incentives, to promote ocean sustainability in various contexts; (iii) the first review of development finance and development co-operation practices in support of more sustainable ocean economies, including a discussion of how development co-operation can help re-orient private finance towards sustainability.
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03/09/2020
Håvard Halland, Senior Economist at the OECD Development Centre explains how, in energy-intensive sectors, a carbon border tax could shift the geography of investment.
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01/09/2020
This report explores how countries can strengthen the resilience of their agricultural sectors to multiple risks. A shifting risk landscape in agriculture – due to increasing weather variability, natural hazards, pests and diseases, and market shocks – will require public and private actors to consider the risk landscape over the long term, place a greater emphasis on what can be done ex ante to reduce risk exposure and increase preparedness, and prioritise investments that build resilience capacities both on-farm and for the sector as a whole. This report offers a framework for applying resilience thinking to risk management in agriculture, and explores how four OECD countries – Australia, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands – are mainstreaming resilience into their agricultural risk management policy frameworks.
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17/08/2020
Radioactive waste results from many different activities in health care, industry, research, and power production. All such waste must be managed safely, with the protection of human health and the environment as the highest priority. After decades of research, the international scientific community is now confident that placing high-level radioactive waste in deep geological repositories (DGRs) is both safe and effective.The government of each country has the absolute right and responsibility to implement the energy and environmental policies it believes are best. In the case of the disposal of radioactive waste, it is paramount that these debates should be informed by objective facts. This report therefore aims to provide the general reader with the current state of knowledge with regards to the management of high-level radioactive waste in DGRs.
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23/07/2020
This note is an update of the earlier versions released on 27 March and 13 May. It provides analysis on issues related to the economic, social and environmental impacts, lessons learned in terms of digitalisation, mobility, density, urban design and collaborative governance, and action-oriented guidance to build back better cities, building on previous work on urban resilience.
23/07/2020
Global trade in illegal pesticides has been steadily growing in recent years, posing serious threats to agriculture, the environment, human health, and the economy. Evidence of this trend can be found in the increasing number of seizures of counterfeit, fake, and unauthorised pesticides, as well as their growing share in the global pesticide market. This paper identifies the main drivers and enablers of this illicit trade, and explores the potential of digital technologies, such as blockchain, to support policies to tackle this criminal activity. It also outlines the challenges in the adoption of these digital-based policy responses and discusses other available policy options.
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07/07/2020
This blog drafted by Frithjof Laubinger and Nikhil Varghese of the OECD Environment Directorate discusses the risks of plastic pollution as a result of medical waste during the pandemic and the necessity to always consider the environment in decision-making.
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03/07/2020
Ambitious environmental policies are necessary to enable the transition to a greener economy. However, these policies could impose economic burdens on firms through different channels. They may increase barriers to entry and distort competition. They may also impose transaction and administrative costs related to permitting and licensing. If stringent environmental policies can be designed in a way that minimises such economic burdens, they can facilitate the achievement of economic and environmental goals and a cleaner growth model.
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02/07/2020
Since the scale of the economic crisis began to emerge, the IEA has been leading the calls for governments to make the recovery as sustainable and resilient as possible. This means immediately addressing the core issues of global recession and soaring unemployment – and doing so in a way that also takes into account the key challenge of building cleaner and more secure energy systems.As they design economic recovery plans, policy makers are having to make enormously consequential decisions in a very short space of time. These decisions will shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come and will almost certainly determine whether the world has a chance of meeting its long-term energy and climate goals.The Sustainable Recovery Plan set out in this report shows governments have a unique opportunity today to boost economic growth, create millions of new jobs and put global greenhouse gas emissions into structural decline. This work was done in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund.
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Photo credits ©:Bicyclists cross wooden bridge © Nate Hovee/Shutterstock; Flip cards, Shutterstock
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