Focus on green recovery

Spotlight on green recovery measures

How sustainable will our recovery be?

To green or not to green?

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Where the money is going

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What can governments do?

ENSURE GREEN JOBS & GROWTH

BUILD BACK BETTER

ACCELERATE A LOW-CARBON TRANSITION

STRENGTHEN BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION

ENHANCE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

#ClimateAction

How can we speed the transition to a low-emissions economy?

An opportunity to transform the oil and gas sector

Green sectors offer prospects for job creation

Green sectors offer prospects for job creation

Sustainable infrastructure helps reduce emissions

Sustainable infrastructure helps reduce emissions

Which countries are committing to carbon pricing?

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How can we invest in green infrastructure?

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05/05/2021
Carbon pricing very effectively encourages the shift of production and consumption choices towards low and zero carbon options that is required to limit climate change. Are countries using this tool to its full potential? This report measures the pricing of CO2-emissions from energy use in 44 OECD and G20 countries, covering around 80% of world emissions. The analysis takes a comprehensive view of carbon prices, including fuel excise taxes, carbon taxes and tradable emission permit prices. The "carbon pricing score" measures how close the 44 countries, together as well as individually, are to the goal of pricing all energy related carbon emissions at current and forward-looking benchmark values for carbon costs. The report highlights the structure of effective carbon rates across countries and sectors in 2018 and discusses change compared to 2012 and 2015. It also provides an outlook on recent trends in emissions trading in China and the European Union.
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05/05/2021
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the close relationship between environmental risks and those to the foundations of human well-being – and the cascading effects on the economy and society. It has also highlighted the importance of anticipation and early action. These are also key to integrating climate policy into regional development, albeit on a larger scale. As with COVID-19, the climate challenge is global, but the response needs to build on regional and local actors, natural environments, geographies and infrastructures.The 2021 edition of the OECD Regional Outlook shows that a place-based approach is vital for resilience in the face of both these challenges. It analyses the different territorial impacts of COVID-19 on health and economy, as well as policy responses. The report explores the different territorial implications of moving to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 whilst adapting to inevitable climate change, and provides fresh analysis of regional data. It provides insights for integrating the climate challenge into multi-level governance, urban and rural development so as to leave no region behind. It highlights the opportunity we have to draw lessons from COVID-19 for a place-based response to the climate challenge.
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19/04/2021
This new web format for Environment at a Glance Indicators provides real-time interactive on-line access to the latest comparable OECD-country data on the environment from the OECD Core Set of Environmental Indicators – a tool to evaluate environmental performance in countries and to track the course towards sustainable development. The web version allows users to play with the data and graphics, download and share them, and consult and download thematic web-books. These indicators provide key messages on major environmental trends in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, water resources, air quality, circular economy and ocean resources. They are accompanied by a short Environment at a Glance report that presents a digest of the key messages stemming from the indicators.
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19/04/2021
This policy brief presents results and policy insights drawn from the OECD Green Recovery Database. The database shows that while USD 336 billion has been allocated towards environmentally positive measures within COVID-19 recovery packages, this total is almost equally matched by funding channelled to measures categorised as having mixed or negative environmental impacts. Furthermore, the spending allocated to green measures represents only around 17% of total COVID-19 recovery spending announced by governments. The small proportion of green measures implies that overall packages may not deliver the transformational investments needed. The sectoral split of environmental measures also points to missed opportunities. Given these findings, this policy brief concludes with policy steps governments can take to ensure that recovery packages are better aligned with environmental goals.
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01/04/2021
This paper assesses quantitative estimates based on economic modelling studies of the economic and environmental benefits from different forms of international co-ordination on carbon pricing. Forms of international co-ordination include: harmonising carbon prices (e.g. through linking carbon markets), extending the coverage of pricing schemes, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, developing international sectoral agreements, and establishing co-ordination mechanisms to mitigate carbon leakage. All forms of international co-operation on carbon pricing can deliver benefits, both economic (e.g. lower mitigation costs) and/or environmental (e.g. reducing GHG emissions and carbon leakage). Benefits tend to be higher with broader participation of countries, broader coverage of emissions and sectors and more ambitious policy goals. Most, but not all, countries gain economic benefits from international co-operation, and these benefits vary significantly across countries and regions. Complementary measures outside co-operation on carbon pricing (e.g. technology transfers) could ensure that co-operation provides economic benefits for all countries.
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24/03/2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a magnifying glass on pressing water and sanitation challenges in African cities, stressing and widening inequalities, especially for the 56% of the urban population living in informal settlements, lacking basic handwashing facilities, and relying on public water points and shared toilets. Before the pandemic, African countries and cities were already facing mounting water challenges with, in Sub-Saharan Africa only, 418 million people lacking basic access to water supply and 717 million to sanitation, in addition to concomitant floods, droughts and pollution issues. Megatrends related to climate change, urbanisation and population growth add more pressure on water resources and require urgent attention for African cities to cope with future water challenges. Building on a Survey on Water Governance across 36 cities of all size in Africa, this report provides a regional overview of the allocation of roles and responsibilities for water management, the existence and implementation of institutional, policy and regulatory frameworks, as well as the critical governance gaps that need to be bridged in order to boost city government capacity to drive water security in the continent.
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22/03/2021
The Toolkit for Water Policies and Governance compiles policies, governance arrangements and related tools that facilitate the design and implementation of water management practices in line with the OECD Council Recommendation on Water. It is designed to inspire and support countries which have either adhered to, are considering adhering to, or aim to converge towards the OECD standard.The Recommendation was unanimously adopted by the OECD Council in December 2016. The adoption marked the outcome of a two-year consultation process with delegates from ministries active in the fields of agriculture, development assistance, environment, public governance, regional development, and regulatory policy, as well as with relevant stakeholders (the business sector, trade unions, environmental organisations) and the OECD Water Governance Initiative.The Recommendation puts forward an international standard with high-level policy guidance on a range of topics relevant for the management of water resources and delivery of water services. The areas covered include managing water quantity, water risks and disasters, improving water quality, ensuring good water governance as well as sustainable finance, investment and pricing for water services.The practices reported in the toolkit have been compiled by the OECD Secretariat, in close consultation with delegates from adhering countries. Regular updates will be made available.
18/03/2021
This working paper focuses on the role of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) for promoting effective climate risk management. It aims to introduce a conceptual framework that governments and development co-operation providers can draw on when developing MEL frameworks for their interventions on climate risk management. The paper also presents existing methods and tools to address the technical challenges to developing such MEL frameworks. Further, it provides examples of good practice for adjusting or updating existing MEL frameworks in support of climate risk management. It contributes to the project Strengthening Climate Resilience: Guidance for Governments and Development Co-operation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
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16/03/2021
This guidance provides a tool governments and development co-operation can draw on in their efforts to strengthen the resilience of human and natural systems to the impacts of climate change. It highlights three aspirations to consider when planning and implementing action to build climate resilience (country ownership; inclusiveness; and environmental and social sustainability). The guidance also outlines four mechanisms (governance; sector-level approaches; finance; and monitoring, evaluation and learning) and three enablers (data and information; capacity; and technologies) in support of climate resilience, proposing concrete actions in the form of checklists.
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15/03/2021
The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the urgency of addressing together the dual challenges of inequality and environmental degradation. This paper contributes to the debate on the inequalities-environment nexus by analysing the consequences of the environmental degradation and of environmental policies on four well-being dimensions: health, income and wealth, work and job quality, and safety. The analysis shows that the impacts of environmental degradation tends to be concentrated among vulnerable groups and households. At the same, the benefits and costs of environmental policies are also likely to be unevenly distributed across households. In this context, policy packages for an inclusive green transition should aim at: (i) mitigating the possible regressive impact of pricing environmental externalities, (ii) investing in human capital and upgrading skills to facilitate labour reallocation, (iii) addressing systemic inequalities with sectoral and place-based policies, (iv) ensuring efficient and responsive governance. The paper concludes by highlighting the need for an effective framework to measure progress towards a people-centred green recovery, and possible areas of future work.
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04/03/2021
Sigita Strumskyte, Dimitra Xynou, Amelia Smith and Shanda Moorghen from the OECD Environment Directorate discuss the climate crisis with a gender lens in the context of the International Women’s Day. This year, it is being celebrated amidst dual health and environmental crises that have economic ramifications for all, but whose interconnected impacts risk undermining recent progress towards gender equality.
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17/02/2021
Jonas Teusch and Konstantinos Theodoropoulos discuss taxing energy use for sustainable development. Why should low-income countries implement carbon pricing policies to reduce carbon emissions when the world’s most advanced economies are falling woefully short of the prices needed to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement?
17/02/2021
As in many countries, the economies of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) have been negatively affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Their governments responded by addressing the health impacts and providing relief to affected businesses and workers. Many EECCA countries have also implemented measures that will help advance environmental objectives as part of their rescue and recovery plans. Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to ensure that recovery plans accelerate a green transition, thereby building resilience against external shocks. This policy paper analyses measures related to COVID-19 in 11 EECCA countries based on their potential to advance the transition to a greener, climate-resilient and low-carbon economy. Recommendations suggest ways to ensure that governments align efforts to support economic recovery with their objectives on climate change, biodiversity and wider environmental protection.
13/02/2021
Green budget tagging can be a useful tool in an overall approach to green budgeting. This introductory guidance was developed by the OECD under the Paris Collaborative on Green Budgeting in collaboration with institutional partners working under Helsinki Principle 4 of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action (IADB, IMF, UNDP, World Bank) and draws lessons from existing country practices. It was informed by a series of round-table events with countries implementing green budget tagging. The document aims to provide high-level guidance in relation to designing, implementing and improving green budget tagging.
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25/01/2021
Catherine Gamper and Nicolina Lamhauge from the OECD Environment Directorate discuss how governments are responding to the simultaneous health emergency and economic crisis as well as the failure to prepare for what has been a well-known (pandemic) risk for many years. With other looming global challenges, climate change is to be taken seriously.
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11/01/2021
Food systems around the world face a triple challenge: providing food security and nutrition for a growing global population; supporting livelihoods for those working along the food supply chain; and contributing to environmental sustainability. Better policies hold tremendous promise for making progress in these domains. This report focuses on three questions. What has been the performance of food systems to date, and what role did policies play? How can policy makers design coherent policies across the triple challenge? And how can policy makers deal with frictions related to facts, interests, and values, which often complicate the task of achieving better policies? Better policies will require breaking down silos between agriculture, health, and environmental policies, and overcoming knowledge gaps, resistance from interest groups, and differing values. Robust, inclusive, evidence-based processes are thus essential to making better policies for food systems.
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23/12/2020
Kumi Kitamori and Shanda Moorghen from the Environment Directorate discuss how the continued pressures on land, and the ecosystem services such as water retention, carbon storage, soil health and all living organisms that it supports, are bound to bring about biodiversity loss and climate change.
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18/12/2020
This paper provides decision-makers with a framework for prioritising different economic, social and environmental goals and analysing the options available to achieve them. To this end, it develops three stylised COVID-19 recovery pathways (“Rebound”, “Decoupling” and “Wider well-being”) that differ in the extent to which they encompass greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and the integration of mitigation and wider well-being outcomes or, broadly equivalently, SDGs. A number of real-world examples of COVID-19 recovery measures in the surface transport and residential sectors were identified, and the paper maps these measures onto these three stylised pathways. The paper finds a wide divergence in the environmental and social impacts of COVID-19 recovery measures developed to date, with several countries putting in place measures that correspond to all three pathways. The nature and pace of economic recovery in different countries and in aggregate will have important implications for existing, updated and new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, and the paper also highlights the possible impact of the COVID-19 recovery measures being put in place on NDCs– including on the ambition of both current and future NDCs. The paper concludes that it will be important for governments to improve their understanding of the impact of their recovery measures across multiple policy dimensions (economic, social, environmental) as well as across different time periods (short and long-term) and spatial scales.
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16/12/2020
The least developed countries (LDCs) are the furthest from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are also likely to be hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis and badly need the additional private finance that blended finance can unlock. Yet evidence shows that too little private finance is mobilised for investment in LDCs. How can this be fixed?The Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries 2020 report is the third edition and second joint UNCDF-OECD report. It builds on UNCDF research and transactional experience, OECD data and analysis on private finance mobilized by official development finance, and a series consultations with and contributions by blended finance experts, LDC governments, UN missions, donors, civil society and research institutions. The report provides an update on the deployment of blended finance in LDCs. It also analyses its potential role in helping those countries recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and provides an Action Agenda for unlocking capital for the achievement of the SDGs in LDCs, as called for in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
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11/12/2020
Cities are places of opportunity. They provide not just jobs but a whole range of public, cultural, social and consumption amenities. Transport is what connects people to these opportunities and cities provide access with varying degrees of success – especially when it comes to modes of transport that favour a green transition. This report argues that building sustainable transport networks for accessible cities requires a holistic planning approach, a sound institutional framework, reliable sources of funding, strong governmental capacity, and should build on community engagement. Urban accessibility requires coherent allocation of responsibilities across levels of government to support strategic planning. The report proposes concrete actions that cities can take to adapt their institutional framework, to improve transport planning and ensure they have access to sustainable sources of funding to implement their plans.
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