Wednesday, October 28, 2015

OECD Environment at a Glance Report

This is a follow-up to the post of October 18, 2015 entitled New Climate Initiatives Database that described a database commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers to track initiatives from around the world to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a report called Environment at a Glance that describes the progress on major environmental issues in advanced industrial economies:
"Environment at a Glance 2015 highlights the many OECD countries that have succeeded in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and those that have increased their share of renewables in energy supply, improved their waste management, or innovated to more efficiently manage their water resources. The data are there to prove it: whether we are talking about natural resource consumption, waste generation or air emissions, decoupling is possible. These positive developments are attributable both to the rise of the services sector and with it, the displacement of resource- and pollution-intensive production abroad, as well as to policy action and technical progress. The economic crisis also contributed to relieve some pressures on the environment."

"Environment at a Glance also reveals where progress has slowed or is insufficient. There is substantial scope for strengthening air and climate policies, changing patterns of energy consumption, improving waste and materials management, preserving biodiversity and natural assets, and implementing more integrated policies – all critical components of green growth and sustainable development. Many positive developments still take place at the margin and policies often lack coherence, thus undermining efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts."

"Climate change has been on our agenda for many years. It is now an urgent challenge and a potentially irreversible threat to future economic development and well-being. The carbon intensity of the energy used in human activities has hardly changed since 1990 and fossil fuels continue to dominate energy supply. CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, calculated by the International Energy Agency, have increased by 36% globally since 2000, in line with global economic growth. With current policies, global energy-related CO2 emissions are estimated to reach three times the level they need to be at in 2050 to limit the long-term increase in global temperatures to 2°C. More recent estimates indicate a flattening of the CO2 emission growth rate in 2014, not tied to economic activity. Whether this indicates a new trend remains to be seen in the years to come."

"Countries continue to support fossil fuel production and consumption in many ways. Not all fossil fuels are treated equal. Variations in energy tax rates, uneven price signals, low levels of taxation on fuels with high environmental impacts, and exemptions for fuel used in some sectors impede the transition to a low-carbon economy. Coal is usually the least heavily taxed of all fossil fuels but the most carbon-intensive fuel available for electricity generation. This suggests important opportunities for reforming countries’ tax systems, aligning policies and achieving environmental goals more cost effectively."
[Source: Library Journal Infodocket]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:48 pm

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