OECD Observer
Home
Menu
New growth doesn’t have to cost the earth

WWF’s 2010 Living Planet Report demonstrates that we are currently using 50% more resources than the earth can provide. If we allow current trends to continue, by 2030 we will need two planets to support us. It’s clear that “business-as-usual” is not the pathway to a prosperous future.

The OECD Green Growth Strategy: Key lessons so far

Can a durable recovery come from greener growth? That largely depends on the policies. In 2011 the OECD will deliver its Green Growth Strategy. Here are some early pointers.

Coal light of day

Despite the repeated warnings about its effects on climate change, as well as resource depletion, the most recent projections from the World Energy Outlook 2009 show that coal will still remain the principal powergenerating fuel for decades to come.

Biofuels: Great green hope?

Once hailed as the imminent successor to fossil fuels, biofuels are hitting some rough patches. Is it time to apply the brakes? 

Urban energy

Despite the mitigated outcome of the recent Copenhagen climate change summit, efforts to develop renewable energy still make progress. Practical solutions to improve the development and implementation of renewable energies and boost their efficiency are constantly being sought. Attention is starting to focus on cities.

Greener aid

Climate change is very much on the development agenda, but according to this guide, Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Co-operation: Policy Guidance, while developing countries account for over half of total carbon emissions, they are also the most vulnerable to climate change.

Saving energy

Environmental policies can change people’s daily habits, as a new OECD survey shows.

After Copenhagen: The European business perspective

European businesses were disappointed with the climate change agreement hammered out in Copenhagen. Here’s one way forward.

Climate change: No cop out

At Copenhagen world leaders moved forward in step on climate change. More progress is needed in the year ahead.

After Copenhagen: the European business perspective

European businesses were disappointed with the climate change agreement hammered out in Copenhagen. Here’s one way forward.

Climate change: No cop out

At Copenhagen world leaders moved forward in step on climate change. More progress is needed in the year ahead.

#31 Learning about renewable energy
Climate change: The case for nuclear energy

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a key objective of energy policies in many countries. As energy consumption will continue to increase in the medium and long term, even if the recent financial crisis might curtail this rise momentarily, there is a general consensus on the need to foster the development and use of all carbon-free options for energy supply. What role can nuclear energy play?

Charting a disastrous course on climate

The UK government has prepared a map of the world showing how the effects of climate change would differ by region. The map, presented to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría by the British ambassador to the OECD, Dominic Martin, shows the likely impact on the planet of a 4 °C rise in the global average temperature.

Moroccan wind

On 2 November, Morocco launched a US$9 billion solar energy programme. With five power plants, the programme aims for a total installed capacity of 2,000 MW by 2020-equivalent to almost 40% of the country's electricity production.

Renewable force

Through the ages, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa have been known for their great feats in engineering. The marvels are legion, from the Mesopotamian irrigation systems to the Great Pyramid. But did you know that the first concentrated solar steam engine was built near Cairo in 1914? A century later, solar energy is again putting the region on the cusp of new exploits, this time in renewable energy.

Climate change: the biggest threat to economic recovery

After a year of pain and pessimism, we are starting to see signs of an economic recovery. Green shoots are sprouting. Governments' bold economic and financial actions of over the past year are beginning to take effect.

A stronger, cleaner, and fairer economy : Towards a new paradigm

The current crisis is an opportunity to launch a new economic model, in which the environment, as a pillar of human welfare, must be central.

The green growth race

Environmentally-friendly investments form part of many recently launched recovery programmes. With the right policies, they could achieve growth and a cleaner planet as well.

Green convertibles

Pressure is mounting to arrest climate change, so it's hardly surprising that people around the world are being urged to use public transportation. After all, an overall strategy that includes getting people to give up their trucks and cars to use electric trolley buses, tramways and rail can help make a real dent in pollution, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. But try telling that to Australians living in the outback, long miles from the nearest bus station. Even most Japanese, who have access to some of the world's best high-speed rail links and urban mass transit, own some type of private vehicle.

Nuclear Energy Agency

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is 50 years old. It predates the actual OECD itself, having started out in 1958 as a division of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation. It has since grown to become a global body spanning four continents. What does its future hold?

Fighting climate change

The UN Climate Change conference in Poznán, Poland in December ended with a mixed scorecard. There was agreement to move to the next level of negotiations, and some clarification on outstanding issues, but little substantial forward movement.

Outreach, reform and the economics of climate change

Concerns for the world economy were already building when OECD governments met for the annual Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) last June.

Economic instruments in the fight against climate change

2008 will be a decisive year in the battle against climate change. Hopefully, it will see us forge an international consensus so an agreement can be reached in Copenhagen in 2009 that will allow us to build on the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate and economic rationality

How to be green and competitive was the centre of attention when environment ministers of OECD countries met at the end of April for the first time in four years. How to fight climate change and maintain competitiveness is a question that concerns many countries outside the OECD too, and the governments of four candidate countries for OECD membership–Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia–participated at the conference, as did Brazil, China, Indonesia and South Africa, four countries with whom the OECD is strengthening its relations in a programme of “enhanced engagement”.

Forests and carbon trading
Seeing the wood and the trees

With the world’s attention focused on climate change, the main question is how can global carbon emissions be reduced effectively? There is no single solution, which is why we must look seriously again at the importance of forests, in particular at an approach known as Reducing Emissions from tropical Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and the incentives needed to achieve it.

Climate change
A new contract

We hear again and again that we must choose between having a stable climate and having a strong global economy. This is a false choice.

Economics climate

Harsh financial reality often rides roughshod over good intentions when it comes to corporate and national balance sheets. Climate change is no exception, for though it may rouse worldwide concern, it also makes people uneasy because of how much it might cost and who should pay.

Tackling global challenges and the OECD

With the world economy today experiencing turbulence on a number of diverse fronts, OECD countries are preoccupied with meeting these challenges.

Sea fairer: Maritime transport and CO2 emissions

International shipping emits as much CO2 as some of the world's largest countries. What can be done?