Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade. The OECD provides a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies.
EPA leads the U.S. engagement with the OECD’s Environment Policy Committee (EPOC), as well as its subsidiary bodies. Founded in 1971, EPOC has a long history of promoting effective and economically efficient policies to respond to important environmental concerns. EPA guides the policy work of EPOC and provides technical expertise to reports and publications.
Among the most important policy contributions includes work on Green Growth, including Towards Green Growth, a strategy for both developed and developing countries to ensure that economic development does not come at the expense of environmental degradation.
- Green Chemistry
- High Level Joint Meeting
- Learn more about how membership in the OECD benefits the United States.
In February 1998, at a meeting of the OECD Advisory Group on Risk Management, EPA proposed a Sustainable Chemistry Initiative (also known as "Green Chemistry") to encourage major breakthroughs in chemistry that prevent pollution without sacrificing performance or cost. Later that year, the Steering Group for this OECD Sustainable Chemistry Initiative (PDF) identified the following roles as its purpose:
- To support and promote research and development in sustainable chemistry;
- To recognize sustainable chemistry accomplishments;
- To disseminate related technical and event information;
- To develop guidance on implementing sustainable chemistry programs for OECD member countries and outreach to non-member international interests; and
- To incorporate sustainable chemistry principles into chemical education.
The Steering Group then developed a plan for implementing its recommendations, approved at the OECD Joint Meeting in June 1999.
Since 1999, OECD has continued its work in sustainable chemistry, including publication of reports on sustainable chemistry and developing a Sustainable Chemistry Platform featuring information and links, and a Networks page that lists sustainable chemistry programs in member countries.
Learn more about US EPA’s work in green chemistry.
The OECD hosted a Joint High-Level Meeting of its Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and Environment Policy Committee (EPOC) at its headquarters in Paris in late May 2009.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson co-led the U.S. delegation with Acting Administrator for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Alonzo Fulgham.
Administrator Jackson was a keynote presenter on the topic: “Supporting Low-Carbon Development Paths: Win-Win Approaches to Achieve both Mitigation and Development Objectives.” In her remarks, the Administrator explained the intertwined connections between the global financial crisis and climate change — the urgent need for international cooperation to address both, and steps being taken by the Obama Administration to address these challenges.
There is an urgent need for collaboration, using low-carbon growth strategies to address the rapid urbanization and growth in industrial energy consumption. Win-win opportunities can be found in improved urban planning and smart growth; green buildings; improved transportation systems; as well as supporting energy efficiency and recovery opportunities from urban services such as water treatment and solid waste management.
Solutions must include roles for expanding public-private collaboration, improved incentives and supply chains, and research cooperation in achieving a low carbon development path. Jackson also stressed the importance of environmental justice — accounting for the most vulnerable populations, and ensuring that they also benefit from low-carbon growth strategies.
Climate Change (particularly focused on OECD’s expertise in economic analysis) and Green Growth emerged as key issues for future joint work. Senior officials formally adopted a “Policy Guidance on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Cooperation.”
This meeting also reviewed progress undertaken since the last Joint High-Level meeting (April 2006), at which officials adopted a “Declaration on Integrating Adaptation to Climate Change into Development Cooperation (PDF)” and a “Framework for Common Action on Shared Goals (PDF)” . Following that meeting, an ongoing work program was crafted to focus on three key areas:
(1) Integrating Adaptation to Climate change in Development Cooperation;
(2) Sustainable Financing to Ensure Affordable Access to Water Supply and Sanitation; and
(3) Governance Capacity Development for Environment and Natural Resources Management.
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For additional information on EPA's work with the OECD, contact:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2670R)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460