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Declaration on Green Growth
25 June 2009 - C/MIN(2009)5/ADD1/FINAL

WE, THE MINISTERS REPRESENTING THE GOVERNMENTS of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Community:


1.    Economic recovery and environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth are key challenges that all countries are facing today. A number of well targeted policy instruments can be used to encourage green investment in order to simultaneously contribute to economic recovery in the short-term, and help to build the environmentally friendly infrastructure required for a green economy in the long-term, noting that public investment should be consistent with a long-term framework for generating sustainable growth. Green growth will be relevant going beyond the current crisis, addressing urgent challenges including the fight against climate change and environmental degradation, enhancement of energy security, and the creation of new engines for economic growth. The crisis should not be used as an excuse to postpone crucial decisions for the future of our planet.

2.    In order for countries to advance the move towards sustainable low-carbon economies, international co-operation will be crucial in areas such as the development and diffusion of clean technologies, for example carbon capture and storage, renewable energy technologies, and application of green ICT for raising energy efficiency, and the development of an international market for environmental goods and services. Co-operation will also be essential among OECD countries as well as with emerging economies and developing countries to reach an ambitious, effective, efficient, comprehensive and fair international climate agreement at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) in Copenhagen in December 2009.

3.    The OECD can, through policy analysis and identification of best practices, assist countries in their efforts to respond to the growing policy demands to foster green growth and work with countries to develop further measures to build sustainable economies.

DECLARE that we:

4.    STRENGHTHEN our efforts to pursue green growth strategies as part of our response to the current crisis and beyond, acknowledging that "green" and "growth" can go hand-in-hand.

5.    ENCOURAGE green investment and sustainable management of natural resources. In this respect, we are resolved to make further efforts to use efficient and effective climate policy mixes, including through market-based instruments, regulations and other policies, to change behaviour and foster appropriate private sector responses. We will consider expanding incentives for green investment, in particular in areas where pricing carbon is unlikely to be enough to foster such private sector responses. Such areas may include smart, safe and sustainable low-carbon infrastructure and R&D technologies that can contribute to building a sustainable low-carbon society. Approaches to recognise the value of biodiversity should be encouraged through appropriate instruments and consistent with relevant international obligations. We are resolved to share information on green investment flows and policies, and best practices.

6.    ENCOURAGE domestic policy reform, with the aim of avoiding or removing environmentally harmful policies that might thwart green growth, such as subsidies: to fossil fuel consumption or production that increase greenhouse gas emissions; that promote the unsustainable use of other scarce natural resources; or which contribute to negative environmental outcomes. We also work towards establishing appropriate regulations and policies to ensure clear and long-term price signals encouraging efficient environmental outcomes. We call on other major economies to follow the OECD countries' lead.

7.    ENSURE close co-ordination of green growth measures with labour market and human capital formation policies. We note that these can support the development of green jobs and the skills needed for them, and ask that work on implementing the Reassessed OECD Jobs Strategy pays due attention to this objective.

8.    STRENGTHEN international co-operation. In this respect:

8.1.    We recognise that special efforts need to be made at the international level for co-operation on developing clean technology, including by reinforcing green ICT activities, fostering market mechanisms, and augmenting, streamlining and accelerating financing and other support to developing countries in their fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity, and support in their water management. We also recognise the need to ensure that each country pursues green growth policies, including to tackle climate change, in accordance with existing international agreements and based on the principles of free trade and investment.

8.2.    We are resolved to make every effort to reach an ambitious, effective, efficient, comprehensive and fair international post-2012 climate agreement at COP15 in Copenhagen in December 2009, by which all countries will take measurable, reportable and verifiable nationally appropriate mitigation commitments or actions as well as adaptation actions, reflecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

8.3.   We recognise the importance of the liberalisation of trade in environmental goods and services in fostering green growth. We are resolved to ensure that measures taken to combat climate change are consistent with our international trade obligations.

8.4.   We underline the special need to co-ordinate international development co-operation activities in order to help developing countries promote green growth, recognising the role of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in this regard.


9.    DEVELOP, as a horizontal project, a Green Growth Strategy in order to achieve economic recovery and environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth. We call upon the OECD and its Committees to prioritise their work within their areas of expertise so as to support green growth policies. The Strategy will analyse green growth measures in OECD as well as in major non-member countries, and will fully take into consideration the OECD Innovation Strategy, the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030, the OECD work on the economics of climate change, the results of the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference of December 2009 and inputs from the IEA. An interim report on the progress should be delivered to the 2010 MCM.

INVITE Non-OECD Members, Private Sector, Civil Society and other International Organisations to:

10.    CLOSELY COOPERATE with the OECD in line with the Declaration.


Relevant body:
Environment Policy Committee
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