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  • 21-May-2021

    English

    The long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery measures on environmental pressures - A quantitative exploration

    This paper analyses the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government responses on the environment. It uses large-scale modelling to investigate the impact of sectoral and regional shocks to the economy until 2040. These detailed economic impacts are linked to a range of environmental pressures, including greenhouse gas emissions, emissions of air pollutants, the use of raw materials and land use change. The short-term reductions in environmental pressures are significant: in 2020, energy-related greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions dropped by around 7%. Environmental pressures related to agriculture observed a smaller drop in 2020. The reduction in the use of non-metallic minerals, including construction materials, reached double digits. From 2021, emissions are projected to increase again, gradually getting closer to the pre-COVID baseline projection levels as growth rates recover fully. But there is a long-term – potentially permanent – downward impact on the levels of environmental pressures of 1‑3%.
  • 17-May-2021

    English

    Assessing the Economic Impacts of Environmental Policies - Evidence from a Decade of OECD Research

    Over the past decades, governments have gradually adopted more rigorous environmental policies to tackle challenges associated with pressing environmental issues, such as climate change. The ambition of these policies is, however, often tempered by their perceived negative effects on the economy. The empirical evidence in this volume – covering a decade of OECD analysis – shows that environmental policies have had relatively small effects on economic outcomes such as employment, investment, trade and productivity. At the same time, they have been effective at reducing emissions from industry. The policies can however generate winners and losers across firms, industries and regions: while the least productive firms from high-polluting sectors are adversely affected, more productive firms and low-pollution sectors benefit. Environmental policies can be designed and combined with other policies to compensate workers and industries that may lose and to emphasise their positive impacts.
  • 17-May-2021

    English

    Green Talks LIVE

    These free webinars are open to the general public and participants are welcome to pose questions during the Q&A segment. Watch the replay of the recent webinar on the Economic Impacts of Environmental Policies presented by OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone on 17 May 2021.

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  • 10-May-2021

    English

    OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Ireland 2021

    Ireland’s progress in delinking the economy from environmental pressures has been uneven in the last decade. Greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation and nutrient pollution rose with strong economic growth between the mid-2010s and the inception of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The country’s dispersed settlement pattern implies that roads are the dominant transport mode. Climate, circular economy and biodiversity policies have gained renewed impetus, with various ambitious policy initiatives and large public investment plans. These need to be swiftly implemented to alleviate the growing pressures from intensification of agricultural practices, demographic development, urban sprawl and road traffic. Encouraging businesses and households to take action is key. This requires providing consistent price signals for the use of energy and natural resources and for better managing travel demand, while taking into account affordability, employment impact and regional disparities. This is the third Environmental Performance Review of Ireland. It evaluates progress towards green growth and sustainable development, with a special chapter focusing on sustainable mobility and freight.
  • 7-May-2021

    English

    To what extent can blockchain help development co-operation actors meet the 2030 Agenda?

    Blockchain is mainstreaming, but the number of blockchain for development use-cases with proven success beyond the pilot stage remain relatively few. This paper outlines key blockchain concepts and implications in order to help policymakers reach realistic conclusions when considering its use. The paper surveys the broad landscape of blockchain for development to identify where the technology can optimise development impact and minimise harm. It subsequently critically examines four successful applications, including the World Food Programme’s Building Blocks, Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash project, KfW’s TruBudget and Seso Global. As part of the on-going work co-ordinated by the OECD’s Blockchain Policy Centre, this paper asserts that post-COVID-19, Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors and their development partners have a unique opportunity to shape blockchain’s implementation.
  • 5-May-2021

    English

    Effective Carbon Rates 2021 - Pricing Carbon Emissions through Taxes and Emissions Trading

    Carbon pricing very effectively encourages the shift of production and consumption choices towards low and zero carbon options that is required to limit climate change. Are countries using this tool to its full potential? This report measures the pricing of CO2-emissions from energy use in 44 OECD and G20 countries, covering around 80% of world emissions. The analysis takes a comprehensive view of carbon prices, including fuel excise taxes, carbon taxes and tradable emission permit prices. The 'carbon pricing score' measures how close the 44 countries, together as well as individually, are to the goal of pricing all energy related carbon emissions at current and forward-looking benchmark values for carbon costs. The report highlights the structure of effective carbon rates across countries and sectors in 2018 and discusses change compared to 2012 and 2015. It also provides an outlook on recent trends in emissions trading in China and the European Union.
  • 4-May-2021

    English

    Exploring the impact of shared mobility services on CO2

    Policy action to avoid the impending societal costs of climate change is particularly warranted in transport sector, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in OECD countries. To design appropriate interventions in this sector, policy makers should account for the recent emergence of shared mobility services in urban areas and their potential advantages in terms of emissions mitigation. This study estimates the impact that the widespread uptake of shared mobility services could have on the carbon footprint of urban transport. To this end, it simulates the share of each transport mode and aggregate emissions from passenger transport in 247 cities across 29 OECD countries between 2015 and 2050. The analysis indicates that they have the potential to eliminate, on average, 6.3% of urban passenger transport emissions by the end of this period.
  • 29-April-2021

    English

    Blog: Climate resilience is essential for a sustainable financial system

    This blog discusses the exposure of the financial sector to physical climate risks and sets out three priorities for how sustainable finance can support efforts to build resilience to climate change.

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  • 29-April-2021

    English

    OECD work on air pollution

    Air pollution is the world’s leading environmental health risk and a major cause of environmental degradation. As the main environmental trigger for premature death globally, it is vital to tackle air pollution while also finding sustainable ways to cope with the pressures of economic activity. Find out how the OECD supports policy makers in their decision-making.

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  • 28-April-2021

    English

    The Economic Benefits of Air Quality Improvements in Arctic Council Countries

    The Arctic is a vital region that helps preserve the balance of the global climate. The Arctic environment is particularly sensitive to short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon, due to their strong warming effect. With ambitious policy action to reduce air pollutants, Arctic Council countries would obtain a positive effect on health and the environment throughout their territory, while also helping to slow down climate change by reducing emissions of black carbon. This report calls for ambitious policy action to reduce air pollution in Arctic Council countries, highlighting the environmental, health, and economic benefits from policy action.
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