Remarks by Angel Gurría
Paris, 12 December 2017
(As prepared for delivery)
Our response to the climate challenge will define our collective future for generations to come. We must act. We must act swiftly, collectively, and decisively.
Some fear that decisive climate action may have a high price tag in economic and social terms. Let me be very clear: strong climate action is not a threat to, but instead the very foundation of our economic well-being in the long run. If we have the right policies and incentives in place, then boosting economic growth, improving productivity, reducing inequalities and take decisive climate action can go hand in hand.
Our recent report, "Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth" emphasises that countries can achieve strong and inclusive economic growth while reorienting their economies towards low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways. A package of strong fiscal and structural reform combined with coherent climate policy can increase long-run GDP by up to 2.8% on average in 2050 relative to a continuation of current policies, across developed and emerging economies. And up to 5% if the positive impacts of avoiding climate damage are also taken into account. In short, ambitious climate policy is good not just for our planet, but also for jobs, investment and growth. This is good public policy, this is smart economics and this is even forward-looking business strategy!
At the OECD we are rolling up our sleeves to make this happen. To promote more effective policies to mobilise finance and drive the low-carbon transition, we are announcing two new initiatives today:
1. We are launching the Paris Collaborative on Green Budgeting, the first cross-country and cross-sectoral initiative designed to support governments to “green” their fiscal policy and embed Paris Agreement commitments and other green objectives within national budgeting and policy frameworks. The Collaborative will be convened by the OECD, working in close partnership with France (Minister Hulot) and Mexico (Minister Pacchiano).
2. We are also announcing a new programme on Clean Energy Finance and Investment with the support of the Danish Government. This programme will allow us to support selected emerging economies in the design and alignment of policies to attract finance and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The challenge we set ourselves in the Paris Agreement of keeping global temperature rises ‘well below’ 2°C is not yet out of reach. But our success will require bold, collective and decisive action to make the ‘one planet’ we have a greener, cleaner, more sustainable place. These two new initiatives go precisely in that direction. We look forward to working with all of you!
Paris Collaborative on Green Budgeting: Bringing together work on environmental policy and climate change, budgeting and tax policy (including carbon pricing), green accounting and inclusive sustainable growth, the Collaborative will develop new tools to help countries make their revenues and expenditures consistent with the Paris Agreement and with Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15. Green budgeting marks a step-change in how governments think and act on this defining challenge of our age.
Clean Energy Finance and Investment Country Reviews and Implementation Support programme: Starting in 2018, this programme is aimed at supporting selected emerging economies in the design and alignment of policies to attract finance and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In other words, this is the concrete, tangible, implementation of what we are recommending in our report on climate and growth! It will be a programme of the OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment, and will engage partner countries and a wide range of domestic and international actors to deliver an integrated, whole-of-government approach to policy, regulation and investment mobilisation.