Accelerating Climate Action

Refocusing Policies through a Well-being Lens

This report builds on the OECD Well-being Framework and applies a new perspective that analyses synergies and trade-offs between climate change mitigation and broader goals such as health, education, jobs, as well as wider environmental quality and the resources needed to sustain our livelihoods through time. This report takes an explicitly political economy approach to the low-emissions transitions needed across five economic sectors (electricity, heavy industry, residential, surface transport, and agriculture) that are responsible for more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Synergies between emissions reduction and broader well-being objectives, such as reduced air pollution and improved health, increase the incentives for early mitigation action. At the same time, the impact of climate policies on issues such as the affordability of energy and jobs need to be taken into account to counter growing economic and social inequalities within and between countries. The report argues that reframing climate policies using a well-being lens is necessary for making visible such synergies and trade-offs; allowing decision-makers to increase the former and anticipate, manage and minimise the latter. This requires us to rethink societal goals in terms of well-being, reframe our measures of progress and refocus policy-making accordingly.

Published on September 20, 2019Also available in: French


Executive summary
Increasing incentives for climate action using a well-being lens
Rethinking societal goals, refocusing measures of progress5 chapters available
Catalysing change through a sustainable electricity sector
Moving to sustainable industrial production
Building sustainable dwellings, neighbourhoods and communities
Delivering accessible and sustainable mobility
Creating a sustainable food system
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This report is being released in two parts. Part I “Rethinking societal goals, refocusing measures of progress”  including Chapters 1 to 6 are available at the above links. Please click on the “Read” or “Download PDF” buttons to access each of these individual chapters. Part I focuses on how we need to rethink policy goals across sectors and adjust the measurement system, so as to effectively align and integrate climate and well-being goals. Part II of the report "Reframing climate policies through a well-being lens", which will be released in the first quarter of 2020, will zoom in on effective policy recommendations and good practices.


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Related Event

  • Placing Well-being at the Heart of Climate Policy, UN Climate Action Summit, New York | 23 September 2019 

    Jointly organised with the Permanent Missions of the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania to the United Nations, this high-level side event took place in the margins of the UN Climate Action Summit. It explored how to increase the incentives for early and ambitious mitigation action by systematically taking account of the synergies and trade-offs between mitigation actions and wider well-being objectives. OECD Secretary-General presented highlights from the report Accelerating Climate Action: Refocusing Policies Through a Well-Being Lens. 

  • Watch the highlights

  • Watch the full video recording




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