OECD climate change resources

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31/07/2022
The next few decades will bring an era of rapid urbanisation and unprecedented climate stress in African cities. Green spaces can boost the resilience of cities to heat waves, floods, landslides, and even coastal erosion, in addition, to enhancing sustainability by improving air quality, protecting biodiversity, and absorbing carbon. All of which can enhance well-being. Yet, data on the availability of green spaces in African urban agglomerations is scarce. This analysis fills the gap by combining new and novel data sources to estimate the availability of green spaces in 5 625 urban agglomerations with 10 000 inhabitants and above. The rest of the report then uses this novel dataset to first evaluate the dynamics between urbanisation and green spaces, and second, explore the potential of green spaces to boost the resilience and sustainability of cities in the future. The results show that as urban agglomerations become larger and more compact, green spaces disappear, exacerbating their vulnerability to climate change and deteriorating liveability. However, building taller buildings (i.e., growing vertically), offers a way for cities to grow whilst minimising loss of green space. Results show that more green space can boost sustainability by significantly lowering air pollution in African cities, which could be vital for public health in the future since outdoor air pollution is rising. The potential for green spaces to enhance resilience to climate events, like heat waves, depends on the location of green spaces throughout the city and the percentage of the population that lives close to a green space (i.e., within 300 metres). Green spaces may play a limited role in coping with heat waves in a city like Khartoum where only 3% of the population lives close to a green space, but could be a nature-based solution to heat waves in a city like Abuja, where 55% of the population can benefit from its cooling effects. Moving forward, local actors have clear evidence of the power of green spaces to build a sustainable and resilient future. Still, the report reveals that local actors need support from regional and national actors to realise the potential of green spaces.
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08/06/2022
This report provides an overview of the main trends and issues related to the implications of climate change for corporate governance. It focuses on economic, legal and accounting issues related to shareholder rights, corporate disclosure and the responsibilities of company boards. Importantly, this report informs the ongoing review of the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance which help policy makers evaluate and improve the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for corporate governance.
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08/06/2022
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are significant actors across sectors that account for substantial sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy, transportation and infrastructure. To counter this, increasing numbers of state owners are incorporating environmental and climate-related goals in their SOE portfolios. These efforts go hand-in-hand with broader international commitments and an increasing awareness that governments as enterprise owners should “lead by example”. Using data collected from 32 jurisdictions, this report describes national approaches towards promoting climate change and low-carbon transition policies in SOEs based on the OECD Guidelines for Corporate Governance of SOEs.
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08/06/2022
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products are increasingly being used as a tool to assess the alignment of company targets and objectives with actions to support an orderly low-carbon transition. Building on existing OECD research on ESG ratings, and particularly the environmental ‘E’ pillar, this report seeks to understand the underlying data and metrics developed by ESG rating providers and their alignment with lower carbon emissions as well as with climate frameworks and initiatives.
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21/04/2022
Chapter
Climate change
in "Environment at a Glance Indicators"
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities disturb the radiative energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system. They exacerbate the natural greenhouse effect, leading to temperature changes and other disruption of the earth's climate. Land use changes and forestry also play a role by altering the amount of greenhouse gases captured or released by carbon sinks. Carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation is a major contributor to greenhouse gases. CO2 makes up the largest share of greenhouse gases and thus is a key factor in countries’ ability to mitigate climate change. National emissions are also affected by changes in global demand and supply patterns with increasing trade flows and the displacement of carbon-intensive production abroad. Reductions in domestic emissions can thus be partially or wholly offset elsewhere in the world.
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16/03/2022
The data is clear: environmental degradation especially affects women, and women are more motivated to do something about it. Why is this so? Join us as we discuss the complex, multi-faceted relationship between women, climate change, air pollution, domestic violence, and green technology patents with Ingrid Barnsley, Deputy Director of the Environment Directorate at the OECD.
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16/12/2021
The Climate Action Monitor, part of the International Programme for Action of Climate (IPAC), provides a diagnostic policy framework for assessing country progress towards climate objectives. Its goal is to provide a digest of progress towards, and alignment with, Paris Agreement goals to support countries in making better-informed decisions and allow stakeholders to measure improvements more accurately. Alongside the IPAC Dashboard, it complements and supports the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement monitoring frameworks by: 1) reviewing key trends and developments and highlighting areas for further analysis and policy action; 2) promoting greater harmonisation of key indicators; 3) showcasing examples of good climate mitigation and adaptation practices and results; and 4) strengthening transparency over climate policies.
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02/12/2021
Nitrogen management policies introduced in the past decades by some OECD countries have succeeded in reducing excess nitrogen use by farmers, but half of global mineral fertiliser use is still lost for crops. While about half of OECD countries have nutrient surpluses of between 25-50 kg N per hectare, a smaller number of countries are still having surpluses of more than 100 kg N per hectare. Since the production and use of mineral fertilisers have a large greenhouse gas footprint and to achieve the deep reductions in emissions as the Paris Agreement aims for, nitrogen management policies could be reinforced and pursued more systematically. The paper identifies significant reduction potential by eliminating the excess use of nitrogen fertilisers and improving efficiency in the use of manure-nitrogen, which could be obtained with a redesign of nitrogen management policies and schemes for public financial support. To underpin such measures a tax on the nitrogen surplus at farm level could play a vital role. Based on the available estimates of environmental externalities of nitrogen, the paper identifies an average rate of EUR 1-2 as a suitable starting point for a tax or penalty on the surplus application of nitrogen. The paper also explores the opportunities for sustainable nutrient management in agriculture with climate mitigation benefits relating to nitrous oxides in particular.
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01/12/2021
There is no guidance on how to deal with the effects of catastrophic events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, on stated preference survey responses, despite the possible impact such events can have on stated values and survey responses. This paper provides a concise analysis of the likely effects of extreme events on stated preference surveys, focusing on the validity and temporal stability of estimated values, and offers a set of recommendations. These recommendations can also be of use for designing other types of household and individual surveys, beyond economic valuation surveys.
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30/11/2021
This paper proposes a ranking of the countries where forest carbon sequestration is the most cost-efficient among 166 countries for which data are available. Taking into account the main cost factors leads to a more nuanced ranking of the countries to be favoured for cost-efficient forest carbon sequestration compared to the assumption that these would always be in tropical areas with high rainfall. The ranking reflects the differences in the opportunity cost of land use and labour cost (production costs), the quality of the business environment (transaction costs), natural conditions (forest productivity), wildfire risk and the avoided GHG emissions from alternative land use. Cost-efficiency also depends on the type of forest project (afforestation, reforestation or forest conservation) and how private (wood harvest) and non-private (environmental and social) co-benefits are counted. A sensitivity analysis is undertaken to examine the robustness of the results with respect to uncertainties in values of the cost and quantity factors of forest carbon sequestration. The results support the view that forests can be a cost-efficient way to offset GHG emissions and that significant cost reductions are possible by targeting the country and sub-national regions in which to locate forest carbon sequestration projects. The report also reviews the literature on the significance and cost of forest carbon sequestration and provides an overview of forest carbon offset schemes.
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26/11/2021
Climate change will create specific risks and challenges for nuclear power plants and the electricity system as a whole. Extreme weather events caused by climate change – such as floods, storms, heat waves and droughts – have already affected the operation of nuclear power plants. Any increase in the temperature of the water used to cool nuclear power plants can also lead to reductions in their power output due to decreasing thermal efficiency.This report sets out the adaptation strategies that can be effectively implemented to improve the resilience of existing plants as well as any new installations. The costs of adaptation to climate change can vary significantly depending on the type of reactor, the climate change issues affecting them, as well as the applicable regulations and standards. However, while these adaptation costs can, in some cases, be significant, the costs of inaction – both directly at the plant level and indirectly for the electricity system – are likely to be even higher.
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19/11/2021
In this blog, Michael Mullan shares his experience of attending COP26 and what can still be achieved in terms of adaptation, as well as insights on how the Glasgow Climate Pact has given renewed impetus to efforts to build resilience to the growing impacts of climate change.
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10/11/2021
This blog by Deborah Holmes Michel examines deliberative democracy, a form of decision-making that gives citizens the opportunity to deliberate, digest and contemplate particular issues in a safe context. Looking beyond COP26, deliberative democracy emerges as a different way of working, which might be embraced by leaders in the communal effort to reach net-zero emissions.
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08/11/2021
Efforts that primarily focus on incremental change in systems that are unsustainable by design are one of the main barriers to scaling up climate action. This report applies the OECD well-being lens process to the transport sector. It builds on the report Accelerating Climate Action and encourages countries to focus climate action on delivering systems that - by design - improve well-being while requiring less energy and materials, and thus producing less emissions. The report identifies three dynamics at the source of car dependency and high emissions: induced demand, urban sprawl and the erosion of active and shared transport modes. The report also provides policy recommendations to reverse such dynamics and reduce emissions while improving well-being, from radical street redesign, to spatial planning aimed at increasing proximity, and policies to mainstream shared mobility. Analysis also shows why the effectiveness and public acceptability of carbon pricing and policies incentivising vehicle electrification can significantly increase after policy reprioritisation towards systems redesign.
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08/11/2021
This blog describes how Africa is urbanising quickly and often in a way that is neither very resilient nor sustainable. At present densities, urban land cover will increase fourfold by 2050, so how can African cities change the course of the built environment towards a more sustainable and resilient future?
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08/11/2021
Following the COVID-19 shock to economies and societies, many countries are renewing infrastructure investment as a stimulus measure. Such investments present an opportunity for governments to address short-term infrastructure challenges through maintenance spending while building resilient and sustainable infrastructure for the future. Infrastructure resilience and maintenance requires a multidimensional approach, considering a range of factors and stakeholders at the local, regional, national and global levels to identify trade-offs among objectives and enable more robust policy choices. Drawing on examples and case studies, this report provides a framework for optimising existing infrastructure assets and building new resilient infrastructure. It also includes strategies for ensuring quality and performance over an asset’s lifecycle.
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06/11/2021
Sub-national governments have a key role in delivering on national and international biodiversity commitments. Drawing on policy practices from Scotland (UK), France and other signatories to the Edinburgh Declaration, this paper provides an overview and analysis of sub-national strategies, plans and mechanisms to ensure policy coherence and co-ordination. It then examines the policy instruments that subnational governments can leverage to deliver positive biodiversity outcomes. The paper highlights, among other things, the need to: develop clear and measurable biodiversity targets at sub-national level; incorporate biodiversity considerations into sub-national climate action plans and urban, rural and regional development strategies, plans and instruments; and promote nature-based solutions at a sub-national level to harness synergies between climate mitigation, climate adaptation and biodiversity.
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05/11/2021
SMEs and entrepreneurs are of critical importance for reaching climate objectives. They have a significant environmental footprint on aggregate, but also make important contributions to reaching net zero through their innovations and greening efforts. This paper discusses the importance of taking entrepreneurs and SMEs into account in climate and environmental policies. It analyses the drivers and barriers of green entrepreneurship and the greening of SMEs, and discusses policy options to support these objectives.
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05/11/2021
Viet Nam has become a leading regional market for renewable energy in a short space of time led by private sector investment facilitated by favourable support mechanisms. Maintaining market growth sustainably while integrating higher shares of variable generation will be a key challenge for Viet Nam’s policy makers over the next decade as the post-pandemic economic recovery builds momentum. Viet Nam's economy also remains highly energy intensive and energy efficiency improvement has the potential to unlock multiple economic benefits with further market interventions.The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Policy Review of Viet Nam provides a comprehensive overview of the current policy framework, highlighting progress and identifying untapped opportunities for strengthening policy interventions that can help scale up clean energy finance and investment. It also provides a number of tailored recommendations for the Government of Viet Nam and development partners. The Review was undertaken within the OECD Clean Energy Finance and Investment Mobilisation (CEFIM) Programme, which supports governments in emerging economies to unlock finance and investment in clean energy.
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01/11/2021
This report addresses the urgent issue of climate-related losses and damages. Climate change is driving fundamental changes to the planet with adverse impacts on human livelihoods and well-being, putting development gains at risk. The scale and extent of future risks for a given location is, however, subject to uncertainties in predicting complex climate dynamics as well as the impact of individual and societal decisions that determine future greenhouse gas emissions as well as patterns of socio-economic development and inequality.The report approaches climate-related losses and damages from a risk management perspective. It explores how climate change will play out in different geographies, over time, focusing on the three types of hazards: slow-onset changes such as sea-level rise; extreme events including heatwaves, extreme rainfall and drought; and the potential for large-scale non-linear changes within the climate system itself. The report explores approaches to reduce and manage risks with a focus on policy action, finance and the role of technology in supporting effective risk governance processes. Drawing on experiences from around the world, least developed countries and small island developing states in particular, the report highlights a number of good practices and points to ways forward.
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