Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD is an intergovernmental organisation whose 35 member countries share a commitment to democracy and the market economy. Its mission is to promote public policies that improve the well-being of all populations around the world. To do so, it provides a forum where governments can combine their efforts and share their experiences. The OECD also carries out analytical and comparative work for member countries, issues recommendations and establishes recognised international standards.

Green Growth Strategy

The Green Growth Strategy, which was presented at the Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) in 2011, is the starting point of the long-term action programme that the OECD will implement to support green growth efforts at the national and international levels. The Strategy aims to help countries foster economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being depends. It provides a framework for action that incorporates enough flexibility into its design so that it can be adapted to the particular situation and development stage of each country.

At the MCM in 2011, the Ministers agreed that green growth tools and indicators can help spur economic growth and create jobs through the sustainable use of natural resources, efficiency gains in energy use and recognition of the value of ecosystem services.

The OECD made green growth one of the main priorities and is trying to implement it in all of its 25 committees. This initiative concerns not only OECD countries but also emerging economies.

Environment Policy Committee

The Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC) is not only responsible for implementing the OECD Environmental Strategy and the environmental element of its biennial programme of work, but also has the priority of implementing the OECD Green Growth Strategy.

To do so, it oversees various groups tasked with a number of environment-related themes, such as climate, biodiversity, water, waste and chemicals. The Green Growth Strategy is also implemented by joint working parties with other OECD committees active in the areas of the environment, trade, development, agriculture, taxation and sustainable transport.

The Environmental Policy Committee holds meetings at the Ministerial level every four years. The last meeting was held in Paris on 28 and 29 September 2016, where climate change and the circular economy (plenary sessions), as well as air pollution, biodiversity, the nitrogen cycle and water (parallel sessions) were discussed.

Environmental Performance Review of Switzerland

The OECD Environmental Performance Reviews Programme conducts peer reviews of environmental conditions and progress in each member country. The analyses are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data and lead to recommendations. The reviews are often used to promote the environmental agenda in member countries and by environment ministers to initiate changes in policy.

The OECD’s 3rd Environmental Performance Review of Switzerland shows that despite progress, Switzerland still has a very high environmental impact. Further efforts are required particularly in protecting biodiversity and water quality. FOEN Director Marc Chardonnens and OECD Deputy Secretary-General Masamichi Kono presented the review to the media on 27 November 2017 in Bern.

GREEN Action Programme

Since it was launched at the second “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference  (Lucerne, 1993), Switzerland has supported the OECD GReen Economy and ENvironment Programme, which is intended to guide improvements to environmental policies in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and Central Asia (EECCA) by promoting the integration of environmental considerations in economic, social and political reform processes.

Switzerland's commitment and interest

Around 30 Swiss delegates are actively involved in OECD activities in the environmental sector. The OECD's analytical work, such as on calculating the costs of inaction or on the use of economic instruments in climate policy, provides a basis for political decision-making and improving environmental governance.

For Switzerland and other industrialised countries, the OECD provides a framework for discussion and reflection which facilitates the development of alliances and common positions outside the context of international negotiations, such as in the area of climate change, biodiversity, or trade and the environment. In addition, in the chemicals sector, the OECD's work on harmonisation and good laboratory practice allows member country governments and industry to save more than CHF 200 million a year.

Last modification 27.11.2017

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