Environmental policy tools and evaluation

Policy briefs, flyers and speeches





Policy Brief: OECD database on instruments used for environmental policy and natural resources management

This database contains information about a large number of environmental policy instruments in both OECD countries and about 20 selected non-OECD countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, China, India and South Africa.



Environment Ministerial 2012

Environment Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Environmental Strategy, discussed priorities based on the Environmental Outlook to 2050 which is a strong case for green growth policies and adopted a policy statement as input to Rio+20 UN Conference.


Report to G20 by international organisations on fossil fuel subdidies

When G20 Leaders met in Pittsburgh in September 2009, they agreed to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption”.

Policy Brief: Taxation, Innovation and the Environment

The OECD recently analysed the impacts of environmentally related taxes and similar instruments on innovation activity in firms and households. The key findings from this analysis are presented in this policy brief.


Policy Brief: Environmentally Related Taxation

This policy brief presents a guide for policy makers to environmentally related taxation that is included in the OECD Publication "Taxation, Innovation and the Environement".


Closing the Gap on Climate Finance

To mark the final report of the UN High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF), OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría wrote an op-ed entitled “Closing the Gap on Climate Finance” for Danish business newspaper Børsen on 7th November 2010.

Related documents:

•    Taxation, Innovation and the Environment
•    La fiscalité, l'innovation et l'environnement
•    Transition to a Low-carbon Economy: Public Goals and Corporate Practices
•    Policy Brief: Financing Climate Change Action and Boosting Technology Change


Flyer: OECD Work on Transport and Environment Issues - OECD has issued a number of other documents on transport and environment.

  Preparatory meeting for the 2011 global conference of environmental enforcement practitioners and their partners

On 11-12 October, the OECD Environment Directorate hosted a meeting of the governing body of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE).

Climate change and competitiveness

Our production and consumption patterns are causing irreversible damage to the earth and its atmosphere and we need to urgently reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, according to Angel Gurría. He added that cutting GHG emissions will inevitably involve a restructuring of the economy. Government policies must play a key role not only to enhance the competitive edge of “green” industries, but also to smooth the transition for those that may be negatively affected.


Tax treatment of tradable permits

Getting the tax treatment of tradable permits “right” is important not only for achieving environmental objectives, but also for the integrity of tax systems. This flyer describes work OECD currently is doing on this issue.


Declaration on Green Growth [C/MIN(2009)5/ADD1/FINAL]

The OECD can, through policy analysis and identification of best practices, assist countries in their efforts to respond to the growing policy demands to foster green growth and work with countries to develop further measures to build sustainable economies.


Environmental Compliance Assurance: Trends and Good Practices - International Conference, OECD Headquarters, Paris, 17-18 November 2008

The key objectives were to exchange experiences on good practices and trends in environmental compliance assurance in OECD countries and major emerging economies and agree on a limited number of emerging compliance assurance issues.


Climate Change: A Matter of Political Will

In his remarks at the OECD Forum 2008, the OECD Secretary-General reminded the audience that successful efforts to address climate change will depend on various factors, such as getting the numbers right, identifying the most appropriate instruments, striking an all-inclusive global deal for the post-2012 architecture and promoting new policies that foster eco-innovation.


Resource productivity and the "3Rs"

In his speech delivered at the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting 2008, Angel Gurría discussed how promoting resource productivity and the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) can protect the environment while sustaining growth and prosperity.


An OECD Framework for Effective and Efficient Environmental Policies: Overview

The objective of this Framework is to encourage policy-makers to ask appropriate questions about their environment-related policies and institutions (including the integration of environmental concerns in other policy fields), as a way of moving toward more effective and efficient (i.e. integrated) outcomes over time


How much does the environment affect human health? Are air pollution and tainted water shortening our lives and those of our children? These questions have aroused increasing interest in recent years, particularly since the adoption of Agenda 21 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which drew the attention of policy makers to the links between health and the environment.
  Launch of the 2008 OECD Environmental Outlook

At the worldwide launch of this report in Oslo, hosted by Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, OECD Secretary-General reminded that solutions to the key environmental challenges are available, achievable and affordable, especially when compared to the expected economic growth and the costs and consequences of inaction.
 2007 The Economics of Climate Change: The Fierce Urgency of Now

In his speech, Mr. Gurría presented the climate change policies that should be put into place to limit further deterioration. Answering the crucial question "who pays for it", he noted that the countries who provoked climate change have a greater capacity to pay than those who joined the group of large emitters more recently.

Policy Brief: Assessing Environmental Policies

Are policies to protect the environment giving value for money – and how can we know? Recognising that policy decisions should be based on a comparison of costs and benefits, a number of OECD governments have introduced legal provisions requiring a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of new environmental regulations or measures.Cost-benefit analysis involves comparing the costs and benefits of a given policy in a common unit of measurement.



Preserving the environment is high on the agenda for both governments and society. Governments in OECD countries are using a variety of instruments to change environmentally harmful behaviour, and taxes have proved a useful string to their bow. Using taxes to achieve an environmental objective, such as reducing emissions of a particular pollutant, is efficient from an economic point of view and offers flexibility to adapt for those affected.



Is it true that environmental policies hit the pockets of poorer households harder than those of wealthier ones? And that the poor receive less of the benefit of such policies as they are more likely to live closer to industry or hazardous waste treatment plants and further from parks or the countryside? This is a widespread perception, and in many cases one that is supported by the available evidence.



What is sustainable development and why is it important? Most people support the idea of sustainable development, but without fully understanding what it is. Most would agree that it implies a better balance between economic, environmental and social goals, and greater fairness in distributing the gains from growth among people and countries. It also concerns preserving the environment and natural resources as a basis for progress.


Conference on Environmental Fiscal Reform, 27 June 2002

OECD, in co-operation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, hosted an open international conference on environmental fiscal reform, on 27 June 2002 in Berlin, Germany.


OECD Governments Agree to Take the Lead on Buying "Green"

OECD governments are to lead efforts to buy more environmentally-friendly goods and services, with a view to encouraging businesses and households to follow similar purchasing policies.



OECD Member countries face a number of environmental challenges, including the protection of the ozone layer, local air quality, acidification and eutrophication, water supply and water quality, waste management and biodiversity losses.


OECD Environment Ministers Adopt an Environmental Strategy for the Next Decade, Paris, 16 May 2001

Environment Ministers or their representatives from the 30 OECD countries met in Paris today. They adopted the "OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century", committing to specific national actions over the next ten years to tackle the worst environmental problems, including climate change, in order to work together towards environmental sustainability.



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