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“Oceanfills”: Yet another dumping ground

The world’s oceans are being damaged by a constant and unprecedented accumulation of waste known as marine debris. The waste, mostly from effluent human activities, is brought to the oceans through currents and often carried far from where it originated. 

Managing earth: The land-water-energy nexus

Demographics, lifestyle, urbanisation, farming and transport: all are facts of life and, as we try to manage our economies and our environment, are the focus of millions of policy actions around the world. We must reduce pollution and congestion. 

COP21 was decades in the making, so how do we make future decades work for climate?

Following the hand-wringing, relief-sighing and back-slapping in Paris after nailing the landmark agreement on climate change in December, I took myself off to a farm in rural England to enjoy the new year driving tractors and herding small children (not with tractors). Conversations with friends typically started with remarks about the unseasonably mild weather and often ended on climate change, and unsurprisingly, COP21. As a soundbite buff, I quickly got my lines sorted: “COP21 gave governments a giant shove in the right direction, an emotional rollercoaster ride of hope, expectation and promise”. Read post here.

space,innovation,big data,satellite,climate change,data,science
Big data, satellites and climate change

Meteorology was the first scientific discipline to use space capabilities in the 1960s, and today satellites provide observations of the state of the atmosphere and ocean surface for the preparation of weather analyses, forecasts, advisories and warnings, for climate monitoring and environmental activities. Three-quarters of the data used in numerical weather prediction models depend on satellite measurements. 

Greening France

Drivers complain that Paris these days is a vast construction site. Streets are being ripped up to make way for tramways, electric car charging posts, and ever more bike lanes and docking stations. The first major city to have put in a free bike-sharing system, back in 2007, Paris has now moved to phase two with more and lighter bikes, a docking system that allows overflow and the introduction of shared electric bikes. 

Under the sea

With marine biodiversity deteriorating at an alarming rate, there will soon be little left of the “octopus’s garden” that The Beatles once sang about. According to Marine Protected Areas: Economics, Management and Effective Policy Mixes, pollution, overfishing and rising temperatures have damaged or destroyed 60% of the earth’s marine ecosystems. Policymakers have been addressing the issue, too, and are increasingly designating marine protected areas (MPAs) as an instrument for the preservation of biodiversity. 

Climate: Towards a just transition, with no stranded workers and no stranded communities

Ambitious action on climate is an imperative. The G20 leaders have a chance to reinforce the Paris Climate Agreement and raise ambition with concrete measures to ensure significant progress towards net zero economies and reap the benefits of investment now in jobs and economic growth. Read post here.

Barking up the right tree

Forests are essential for fighting climate change, but planting and managing them is not as easy as it might sound, as the OECD Forest Scheme shows. Watch the video.

javier goyeneche, ecoalf,oecd,climate,environment
Javier Goyeneche: "Because there is no Planet B"

Javier Goyeneche is the founder of ECOALF, a fashion brand that turns discarded fishing nets, post-consumer plastic bottles and coffee into clothes. He visited the OECD on 19 October 2016, giving a talk on his sustainable fashion company. Part of the Coffees of the Secretary-General series, you can read the complete transcript of Mr Goyeneche below. 

naomi klein, climate, climate change, oecd
Naomi Klein: "This changes everything"

Canadian author, filmmaker and social activist Naomi Klein visited the OECD on 24 November 2015, giving a talk on why climate change changes everything. Part of The Coffees of the Secretary-General series, you can read the complete transcript of Ms Klein’s presentation below. 

China's climate change combat

China was among the near-200 countries to adopt the Paris Climate Change Agreement (Paris Agreement) at an historic UN conference in Paris, France on 12 December 2015. As an emerging economy and one of the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases, how China implements the Paris Agreement will be important. We asked Dr Xuedu Lu of the Asian Development Bank for his views.

The Paris Agreement demands climate action

The Paris Agreement is a landmark in collective efforts on climate change and is the result of many years’ hard work. It must now be implemented.

COP21 will get agreement with teeth: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on Bloomberg

Climate change

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OECD Observer i-Sheet: Climate change and cities

17 September 2014

Renewable energy: Catalyst for a clean energy transition

World leaders meet at the UN in New York 22 April formally to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. The European Union is already translating the agreement into action, says Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, in this article for the OECD Yearbook 2016.

What if Paris flooded?

The River Seine overflowing its banks is not an uncommon sight in Paris, as the winter catchment swells, causing water levels to rise and cover the lower banks, jetties and walkways. 

The climate challenge: Achieving zero emissions

I have come here today to talk about the ambition needed to tackle climate change and the policy tools that can get us there. As we approach the Conference of the Parties in late 2015 in Paris, our leaders are facing a fundamental dilemma: to get to grips with the risks of climate change or see their ability to limit this threat slip from their hands.

innovation, climate change, dirk pilat, nick johnstone, oecd, cop21
Business innovation and climate change: Policy makers must favour dynamism

New innovative firms are needed to help step up the fight against climate change. That means new policies to encourage business dynamism, not least in the energy sector.

cop21, vaclav smil, energy transition, climate change, renewable
Energy transitions, renewables and rational energy use: A reality check

Is replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources such as solar and wind really feasible? A lot has to happen first, including a change in how we use energy. 

environment, ministerial roundtable, climate change, chile, united states, new zealand, germany, japan, cop21
Ministerial roundtable: Combating climate change: What policy makers are doing

World leaders attending the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris know they have a rare opportunity to forge a new international agreement to combat climate change and set forth a pathway towards a low-carbon world. More ambition will be needed by all sides if global temperatures are to be prevented from rising above 2°C, the agreed threshold for preventing catastrophic climate change. But even without that target, unleashing a low-carbon future makes sense for health, costs and sustainable development.

#17 Frankie's Christmas riddle: A festive wish

The OECD Observer team would like to wish all our readers a very happy festive season, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Fuel fraud perpetuates further harmful auto emissions and increased fuel consumption

Safe international trade is essential for the economic growth governments are currently seeking, but is threatened by the ever-evolving asymmetrical threat of fraud and illicit activity.

cop21, angel gurría, oecd, climate change, carbon, zero-carbon economy, fossil fuels
Overcoming climate change and unleashing a dynamic, zero-carbon economy

The UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris 30 November-11 December is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reach a new international agreement to combat climate change and accelerate our transition to a low-carbon economy. World leaders attending the summit are aware of the urgency we face. However, to judge by their national contributions pledged so far, more ambition will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising above the agreed limit of 2ºC. The “carbon entanglement” of our economies is keeping us on a collision course with nature.

energy, climate change, iea, fatih birol, international energy agency, COP21
The energy sector holds the keys on climate

When the International Energy Agency (IEA) was formed in 1974, concern over climate change was in its infancy. While the greenhouse effect was known it was not widely recognised, and the debate about the long-term effect of CO2 emissions was confined more or less to academia. 

climate change, simon upton, cop21, environment, pollution
Three things you need to know about climate change

Three key points will help world leaders and representatives of business, labour and civil society to strike an effective new deal on climate change at the crucial UN summit on climate change in Paris and accelerate climate action in 2015 and beyond. 

indonesia, adb, climate change
We have the ingenuity and the financial means to confront climate change

Climate change is the pre-eminent challenge of our time. We need financing to mitigate and adapt to its impacts.  

mitigation, climate
Mitigation: Solving the Rubik's cube of climate change

Our countries are lagging behind in their mitigation targets and will have to catch up. Yet we know what we need to do to solve the climate change puzzle. So what are we waiting for? 

fossil fuel, climate change
Tackling the folly of fossil fuel subsidies

There is a growing awareness that mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions is not only about introducing new climate policies, but also making sure that existing measures and regulations do not run counter to climate goals. In other words, governments should not undermine with one hand what they are seeking to achieve with the other. There is no better example of this problem than fossil fuel subsidies.

Climate change: Towards clean energy investment and supporting disclosure

Achieving the transition to a low-carbon economy to meet the 2ºC target requires shifting investment away from carbon-intensive options and towards low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure assets and technology. Over US$90 trillion will be needed in the next 15 years to meet global infrastructure needs across transport, energy and water systems, irrespective of climate change, according to the Global Commission on Climate and the Economy. But as the commission estimates, making these infrastructure investments “low-carbon” will impose additional costs of only 4.5% relative to business-as-usual, with benefits such as reduced local air pollution, improved energy security and lower traffic congestion.