The lectures represent the Secretary-General’s personal contribution to the OECD’s efforts to support governments in accelerating climate action, and as a leading global champion of strong climate action. They have conveyed major statements on the global state of play on climate policy and helped to identify key emerging issues, comment on challenging issues (such as the future of coal), and chart the way forward for governments around the world.
The Secretary-General has given four biennial climate lectures to date:
Hosted by the Graduate Institute in Geneva, in his fourth biennial climate change lecture, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría focuses on how countries can overcome the numerous political, economic and social barriers to achieve the rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to safeguard our common future.
Hosted at the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto, the third lecture focused on the "tragedy of the national horizon" and addressed the consequences of the insistence of national governments to fashion climate policies primarily, if not exclusively, from a national perspective and the implications for multilateral action on climate.
Hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Aviva Investors in association with ClimateWise, the second lecture drew attention to the fact that coal use generates considerable costs to society from air pollution and adverse health impacts, in addition to being a major source of greenhouse gases. This point resonated with a global community eager to see the need for climate change action set within a broader economic and social context.
In association with the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Climate Markets & Investment Association, Norton Rose Fulbright, the Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the inaugural lecture, for example, highlighted that the world must move towards net zero emissions to the atmosphere by the second half of this century. This was a controversial proposition at the time, but one that found its way into the Paris Agreement and is now widely accepted. Read the full lecture.