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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22/06/2021
This annual report monitors and evaluates agricultural policies in 54 countries, including the 38 OECD countries, the five non-OECD EU Member States, and 11 emerging economies. The report includes country specific analysis based on up-to-date estimates of support to agriculture that are compiled using a comprehensive system of measurement and classification – the Producer and Consumer Support Estimates (PSE and CSE) and related indicators. This year’s report focuses on policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and analyses the implications of agricultural support policies for the performance of food systems.
08/06/2021
Natural hazard-induced disasters (NHID), such as floods, droughts, severe storms, and animal pests and diseases have significant, widespread and long-lasting impacts on agricultural sectors around the world. With climate change set to amplify many of these impacts, a “business-as-usual” approach to disaster risk management in agriculture cannot continue if we are to meet the challenges of agricultural productivity and sustainability growth, and sustainable development. Drawing from seven case studies – Chile, Italy, Japan, Namibia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States – this joint OECD-FAO report argues for a new approach to building resilience to NHID in agriculture. It explores the policy measures, governance arrangements, on-farm strategies and other initiatives that countries are using to increase agricultural resilience to NHID, highlighting emerging good practices. It offers concrete recommendations on what more needs to be done to shift from coping with the impacts of disasters, to an ex ante approach that focuses on preventing and mitigating the impacts of disasters, helping the sector be better prepared to respond to disasters, and to adapt and transform in order to be better positioned for future disasters.
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22/05/2021
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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21/05/2021
Gender equality and environmental goals are mutually reinforcing, with slow progress on environmental actions affecting the achievement of gender equality, and vice versa. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires targeted and coherent actions. However, complementarities and trade-offs between gender equality and environmental sustainability are scarcely documented within the SDG framework. Based on the SDG framework, this report provides an overview of the gender-environment nexus, looking into data and evidence gaps, economic and well-being benefits, and governance and justice aspects. It examines nine environment-related SDGs (2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 15) through a gender-environment lens, using available data, case studies, surveys and other evidence. It shows that women around the world are disproportionately affected by climate change, deforestation, land degradation, desertification, growing water scarcity and inadequate sanitation, with gender inequalities further exacerbated by COVID-19. The report concludes that gender-responsiveness in areas such as land, water, energy and transport management, amongst others, would allow for more sustainable and inclusive economic development, and increased well-being for all. Recognising the multiple dimensions of and interactions between gender equality and the environment, it proposes an integrated policy framework, taking into account both inclusive growth and environmental considerations at local, national and international levels.
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21/05/2021
This brief analyses the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government responses on the environment. It links the impact of sectoral and regional shocks to the economy until 2040 to a range of environmental pressures, including greenhouse gas emissions, emissions of air pollutants, the use of raw materials and land use change. The short-term reductions in environmental pressures are significant; as the economy gradually recovers, emissions are projected to increase again, with growth rates going back to the pre-COVID baseline projection levels. But there is a long-term – potentially permanent – downward impact on the levels of environmental pressures of 1-3%, with stronger effects for pressures related to capital-intensive economic activities.
21/05/2021
Nature underpins all economic activities and human well-being. It is the world’s most important asset. Yet humanity is destroying biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, posing significant but often overlooked risks to the economy, the financial sector and the well-being of current and future generations. This report provides the latest findings and policy guidance for G7 and other countries in four key areas: measuring and mainstreaming biodiversity; aligning budgetary and fiscal policy with biodiversity; embedding biodiversity in the financial sector; and improving biodiversity outcomes linked to international trade. The report shows how Finance, Economic and Environment Ministries can drive the transformative changes required to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.This Policy Paper was prepared as an input document for the United Kingdom Presidency of the G7 in 2021.
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21/05/2021
This paper analyses the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government responses on the environment. It uses large-scale modelling to investigate the impact of sectoral and regional shocks to the economy until 2040. These detailed economic impacts are linked to a range of environmental pressures, including greenhouse gas emissions, emissions of air pollutants, the use of raw materials and land use change. The short-term reductions in environmental pressures are significant: in 2020, energy-related greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions dropped by around 7%. Environmental pressures related to agriculture observed a smaller drop in 2020. The reduction in the use of non-metallic minerals, including construction materials, reached double digits. From 2021, emissions are projected to increase again, gradually getting closer to the pre-COVID baseline projection levels as growth rates recover fully. But there is a long-term – potentially permanent – downward impact on the levels of environmental pressures of 1‑3%.
17/05/2021
Over the past decades, governments have gradually adopted more rigorous environmental policies to tackle challenges associated with pressing environmental issues, such as climate change. The ambition of these policies is, however, often tempered by their perceived negative effects on the economy. The empirical evidence in this volume – covering a decade of OECD analysis – shows that environmental policies have had relatively small effects on economic outcomes such as employment, investment, trade and productivity. At the same time, they have been effective at reducing emissions from industry. The policies can however generate winners and losers across firms, industries and regions: while the least productive firms from high-polluting sectors are adversely affected, more productive firms and low-pollution sectors benefit. Environmental policies can be designed and combined with other policies to compensate workers and industries that may lose and to emphasise their positive impacts.
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17/05/2021
The ITF Transport Outlook 2021 provides scenarios for the development of transport demand up to 2050. It also models transport decarbonisation scenarios and their impacts on climate change. Based on this, the ITF Transport Outlook 2021 identifies decisions that policy makers will need to take to ensure a transition to sustainable mobility that is effective as well as equitable. This edition includes a special focus on the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on transport systems, and models potential long-term changes with challenges and opportunities for decarbonisation.
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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 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.
24/03/2021
This report analyses planned infrastructure projects, decision-making frameworks related to infrastructure development and strategic planning documents in the six countries of the EU Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. It compares current investment flows with countries' national development objectives to identify misalignments and provides policy-makers with recommendations to improve the integration of climate change and other environmental concerns into infrastructure development decision-making processes. The report presents a comprehensive overview of infrastructure investment, primarily in the transport and energy sectors, throughout the region and identifies the risks and opportunities emerging from current investment patterns.
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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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